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Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2000 Jul;78(1):87-97.

RFLP analysis of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacers and the 5.8S rRNA gene region of the genus Saccharomyces: a fast method for species identification and the differentiation of flor yeasts.

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  • 1Departamento de Biotecnología, Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos (CSIC), Burjassot, València, Spain.


The PCR amplification and subsequent restriction analysis of the region spanning the internal transcribed spacers (ITS1 and ITS2) and the 5.8S rRNA gene was applied to the identification of yeasts belonging to the genus Saccharomyces. This methodology has previously been used for the identification of some species of this genus, but in the present work, this application was extended to the identification of new accepted Saccharomyces species (S. kunashirensis, S. martiniae, S. rosinii, S. spencerorum, and S. transvaalensis), as well as to the differentiation of an interesting group of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, known as flor yeasts, which are responsible for ageing sherry wine. Among the species of the Saccharomyces sensu lato complex, the high diversity observed, either in the length of the amplified region (ranged between 700 and 875 bp) or in their restriction patterns allows the unequivocal identification of these species. With respect to the four sibling species of the Saccharomyces sensu stricto complex, only two of them, S. bayanus and S. pastorianus, cannot be differentiated according to their restriction patterns, which is in accordance with the hybrid origin (S. bayanus x S. cerevisiae) of S. pastorianus. The flor S. cerevisiae strains exhibited restriction patterns different from those typical of the species S. cerevisiae. These differences can easily be used to differentiate this interesting group of strains. We demonstrate that the specific patterns exhibited by flor yeasts are due to the presence of a 24-bp deletion located in the ITS 1 region and that this could have originated as a consequence of a slipped-strand mispairing during replication or be due to an unequal crossing-over. A subsequent restriction analysis of this region from more than 150 flor strains indicated that this deletion is fixed in flor yeast populations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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