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Problem Addressed

Recombinant protein production has revolutionized biotechnology and medicine by facilitating large-scale manufacturing of enzymes and biotherapeutics. Pichia pastoris (Pichia), a species of yeast, has recently gained popularity as a protein expression system due to its rapid growth, efficient protein secretion, maintenance of protein structure, and glycosylation capabilities. However, the media used to grow Pichia remains sub-optimal for commercial protein production. Complete growth media supports rapid Pichia growth, but has components with undefined biologically-derived components such as yeast extract. These undefined components can lead to significant batch-to-batch variation and requires complicated regulatory documentation. Chemically defined Pichia growth media have been also been developed, however, all current formulations significantly decrease both the Pichia growth rate and per-cell productivity. There is therefore a significant need for improved Pichia cultivation media.