Identifying further opportunities and strategies for further strain optimisation: attendance of 14th International Conference on Yeasts (Awaji Is. Hyogo, Japan)
An AGWA travel award enabled the attendance of Dr Michelle Walker at the 14th International Congress on Yeasts held at Awaji Yumebutai, Hyogo Prefecture in Japan (11-15 September 2016). This congress, held every four years, attracted some 440 academic and industry delegates from about 40 countries, and included several reputable international speakers. The conference explored different yeast(s) and their genetics, synthetic biology and their application in the production of alcoholic beverages, and biotechnology (biofuel/high value products). The conference provided opportunities to meet informally with other researchers in related areas of yeast research. Student participation was actively encouraged through sponsorship by the conference organisers and The Carl Singer Foundation. Students awarded scholarships gave short talks (as well as poster presentations) on their research. An oral presentation (and poster) entitled ‘Mapping of genes responsible for yeast-derived modulation of colour in model red wine’ was given. A visit was undertaken to the research laboratories of Professor Hiroshiri Takagi (Nara Institute of Science and Technology). His research on how proline protects yeast from alcoholic stress during fermentation is of particular interest, as improved use of this nitrogen source in juice has been a long standing interest of our group.