Can yeast produce pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)? Do bacteria efficiently produce it? Or does it only come from plants?

The Wikipedia page for pantothenic acid doesn’t seem to answer the question (other than mentioning that small amounts are found in, i.e. used by, every organism, and hinting at the facts that animals concentrate it and yeasts are, at the very least, inefficient at producing it).

  • $\begingroup$ I see that you reverted the title of this question. I suggest that you Google “biological realm” to find the context in which this strange (at least to me) expression is used. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented Sep 13, 2022 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ realm /rɛlm/ LITERARY 1. a kingdom. "the defence of the realm" 2. a sphere, domain 3... $\endgroup$
    – Hans
    Commented Sep 13, 2022 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ The title is an improved version of the initial title. The one you gave changed the meaning of the question. I think it becomes problematic when we change peoples' questions to better fit our answer (it quickly becomes a very lonely world / a monologue). I don't think you had any bad intent but I'm sharing the thought that occured to me when bringing it back to its original meaning with an small edit to the original question better encompassing part of your answer. $\endgroup$
    – Hans
    Commented Sep 13, 2022 at 20:48
  • $\begingroup$ — Whenever I am obliged to translate a phrase into German, French or Italian I not only check with a dictionary, but do a Google search to check the phrase is actually used in the language, and with the same sense. That is what I did, and suggested you do, with “biological realm”. If you think my alteration changed your meaning explain. But invented expressions will not do. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 7:51
  • $\begingroup$ Google has ceased to be of any value as a reference a long time ago. It is merely now a tool to dumb down people, increase dependence (consumerism) and serve brainwashing (propaganda). As for most people my personal experience is that most people have a poor mastery of their own language, and that is most true in the case of the English language. This is by design as a systemic effort to limit people's language is needed to limit their conceptualization of reality (reality is made of many nuances and subtilities, the more you restrain the language, the mote you limit people's grasp of reality) $\endgroup$
    – Hans
    Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 9:59

1 Answer 1


General Considerations

Pantothenic acid is a precursor for the synthesis of Coenzyme A which is essential for most, if not all, living organisms. As bacteria appeared on earth before plants, and can currently live in environments where there are no plants, it is difficult to envisage their being unable to synthesize pantothenic acid. The situation with yeasts is less obvious, but as independent free-living single-cell organisms, the expectation would be that they had retained this synthetic ability of their evolutionary precursors.

Pantothenic acid synthesis in different organisms

Pantothenic acid is produced by a wide range of bacteria, with the structure of the enzymes of the pathway of its synthesis, e.g. the final enzyme, pantothenate synthetase, available from many different species, as can be seen from a search of the Protein Data Bank.

Indeed far more detail is known about the process than in higher plants, because of the greater ease of conducting molecular genetics on the former.

One way to check for the existence of a pathway in a particular organism is using KEGG, and this approach shows the pathway for the synthesis of pantothenic acid is present in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.


The poster refers repeatedly to the efficiency of production of pantothenic acid but appears to be misusing the word, and it is not clear in this context what he means. In science efficiency expresses the percentage of input energy or material that is converted to an intended output. For example in biochemical thermodynamics, inefficiency might be the loss of chemical energy as heat (in processes where the aim is not to produce heat). In a general sense such efficiency exerts selective pressure on organisms, and this will be greatest in rapidly-growing organisms such as bacteria which are subject to competition for resources. All organisms have regulatory mechanisms to ensure that there is sufficient of the product of a pathway when it is required, but that energy and precursors are not wasted by producing it when it is not required. Such regulatory mechanisms tend to respond more rapidly to changes in bacteria than in eukaryotes (such as plants), with their longer division times, but there is no reason to believe that any organism that synthesizes pantothenic acid does so inefficiently.

It is possible that the poster is interested in which organisms might present the most abundant sources of pantothenic acid for those organisms such as mammals that cannot synthesize it themselves. This may relate to the size of the ‘pool’ of this metabolite in the cell. However that is a completely distinct question from synthesis and efficiency thereof. I doubt whether there is much literature on this as it appears that human deficiency of pantothenic acid is very rare, so that this has not been a particular dietary concern.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ For the term "efficiently", let's define it like this: The more efficiently an organism produces pantothenate, the less its growth and replication would correlate, in an environment replete with all other nutrients, with the amount of exogenous pantothenate present in / added to that environment (despite disposing of pantothenate internalization/transport mechanisms/ability). $\endgroup$
    – Hans
    Commented Sep 11, 2022 at 14:27
  • $\begingroup$ There might be a better term, and if you find one please tell me and I'll edit the question/text accordingly. $\endgroup$
    – Hans
    Commented Sep 11, 2022 at 14:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Hans — I'm sorry but you are not defining anything. You are stating a consequence of this mysterious thing which seems as mysterious as the thing itself. Correlation of growth and replication? Why? And why should pantothenate be in or added to the environment? You seem to have some basic concern or agenda that you are not spelling out. What are you after? $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented Sep 11, 2022 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ I'm trying to understand which organisms are most pantothenate-"independent" in their growth and replication. As you wrote, it's possible that all life on earth requires it metabolically, if you factor out growth/division metabolic load, there is some logic in assuming that those whose growth/division is most independent of exogenously-sourced pantothenate most efficiently produce it themselves. If you have a better term or a better way to put it, as I wrote, please state it. $\endgroup$
    – Hans
    Commented Sep 11, 2022 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Hans I think the issue is that assuming there is a correlation between growth and any one molecule, you'll only see it if that molecule is a limiting factor. Every organism that has a sufficient amount will see no relationship with growth, whether or not they produce it endogenously or how efficient or whatever. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 13:58

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