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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Geoff Lin-Cereghino

First Committee Member

Craig A. Vierra

Second Committee Member

Lisa A. Wrischnik


The methylotrophic yeast, Pichia pastoris, has been used as a protein expression system to express over 500 heterologous proteins. P. pastoris provides many advantages over other organisms that have been utilized for this purpose. In this project, we developed a new host/selectable marker and auxotrophic strains of P. pastoris based on methionine biosynthesis to increase P. pastoris's versatility as a host for homologous protein expression. This was accomplished by selecting for a yeast that is deficient in methionine biosynthesis, P. pastoris (yJC239), and gene complementation through transformation with a genomic DNA library.

Bioinformatics show that the P. pastor is MET gene has 54% amino acid identity with 68% similarity to the S. cerevisiae MET2 gene, which codes for homoserine O-transacetylase. We have constructed expression vectors for intracellular and extracellular expression of proteins with the MET2 marker and have also constructed strains with various auxotrophs including me/2.



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