This Thematic Issue from FEMS Yeast Research comprises papers published in the past year by attendees at the ICY15/ICYGMB30 conference. These comprise original articles, reviews and perspective pieces. At the time of the conference ~15 articles have already been published with more in-train. The call for papers has been extended to 30th September for submission of original research papers by an attendee at the conference (presenting or corresponding author). As the yeast community journal, it is appropriate that FEMS Yeast Research is publishing this special issue to mark the first joint congress between these two large (and overlapping) yeast communities.