Kluyveromyces marxianus: An emerging yeast cell factory for applications in food and biotechnology.Int J Food Microbiol. 2020 Nov 16; 333:108818.IJ
Several yeasts, which are eukaryotic microorganisms, have long been used in different industries due to their potential applications, both for fermentation and for the production of specific metabolites. Kluyveromyces marxianus is one of the most auspicious nonconventional yeasts, generally isolated from wide-ranging natural habitats such as fermented traditional dairy products, kefir grain, sewage from sugar industries, sisal leaves, and plants. This is a food-grade yeast with various beneficial traits, such as rapid growth rate and thermotolerance that make it appealing for different industrial food and biotechnological applications. K. marxianus is a respiro-fermentative yeast likely to produce energy by either respiration or fermentation pathways. It generates a wide-ranging specific metabolites and could contribute to a variety of different food and biotechnological industries. Although Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the most widely used dominant representative in all aspects, many applications of K. marxianus in biotechnology, food and environment have only started to emerge nowadays; some of the most promising applications are reviewed here. The general physiology of K. marxianus is outlined, and then the different applications are discussed: first, the applications of K. marxianus in biotechnology, and then the recent advances and possible applications in food, feed and environmental industries. Finally, this review provides a discussion of the main challenges and some perspectives for targeted applications of K. marxianus in the modern food technology and applied biotechnology in order to exploit the full potential of this yeast which can be used as a cell factory with great efficiency.