The tendency of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to favor alcoholic fermentation over respiration is a complication in aerobic, biomass-directed applications of this yeast. Overproduction of Hap4p, a positive transcriptional regulator of genes involved in respiratory metabolism, has been reported to positively affect the balance between respiration and fermentation in aerobic glucose-grown batch cultures. In this study, the effects of HAP4 overexpression have been quantified in the prototrophic S. cerevisiae strain CEN.PK 113-7D under a variety of growth conditions. In aerobic glucose-limited chemostat cultures, overexpression of HAP4 increased the specific growth rate at which aerobic fermentation set in by about 10% relative to the isogenic wild-type. Upon relief of glucose-limited conditions, the HAP4-overexpressing strain produced slightly less ethanol than the wild-type strain. The effect of Hap4p overproduction was most drastic in aerobic, glucose-grown chemostat cultures in which ammonium was limiting. In such cultures, the biomass yield on glucose was double that of the wild-type. © 2001 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.