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FEMS Yeast Res. 2002 Jan;1(4):299-306.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces paradoxus coexist in a natural woodland site in North America and display different levels of reproductive isolation from European conspecifics.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, 415 S. University Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. paulsnie@sas.upenn.edu


We report the isolation of multiple strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces paradoxus from a natural woodland site in southeastern Pennsylvania, USA, using enrichment culturing in a medium containing 7.6% (v/v) ethanol. The method was applied to bark and flux material collected from broad-leaved trees (mostly Quercus spp.) and to associated soils. Many candidate wild strains of Saccharomyces were isolated using this method, most of them from soils associated with oaks. Matings to genetically marked tester strains of S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus identified roughly equal numbers of these two species within this collection. The S. paradoxus isolates showed significant partial reproductive isolation from a conspecific European strain, whereas the S. cerevisiae isolates did not. Variability in both chromosome size and Ty1 element hybridization profiles was observed within both populations at this site. We discuss the relevance of our data to current debates concerning whether S. cerevisiae is a wild species or a domesticated species.

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