Pichia pastoris are heterotrophic yeasts able to use many carbon sources
such as glucose, glycerol, and methanol; they are unable, however, to metabolize
lactose. Their methylotrophic properties, high yield, efficient post-translational
modifications, and secretion of recombinant proteins, alongside a lack of
hyperglycosylation, a post-translational process similar to that of mammals, and low
maintenance costs for large-scale applications, make this yeast a promising alternative
to produce recombinant proteins. The main recombinant products obtained from P.
pastoris include vaccines and other biopharmaceuticals, enzymes, proteins, and
pigments. Pichia spp. are also used in ethanol production and many other foods such as
fermentation of coffee, cocoa, and olives, as well as alcoholic beverages. The use of
Pichia yeasts in wastewater treatment and in fungal control of stored grains and fruit
has also been reported. This chapter will discuss the environmental diversity of many
species of Pichia, especially P. pastoris. Furthermore, the main uses of Pichia spp. in
many bioprocesses will also be explored.
Keywords: Alcoholic beverages, Alcoholic beverages, Bioprocesses, Biocontrol systems, Carotenoids, Cocoa fermentation, Ethanol, Enzymes, Environmental diversity, Fermentation, Hyaluronic acid, Isobutanol, Pharmaceuticals, Pichia pastoris, Recombinant proteins, Ricinoleic acid, Vaccines, Wastewater treatment, Xylitol, Yeast.