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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Jun;72(6):3968-74.

Pure and mixed genetic lines of Saccharomyces bayanus and Saccharomyces pastorianus and their contribution to the lager brewing strain genome.

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  • 1Suntory Research Center, Institute for Advanced Technology, 1-1-1 Wakayamadai, Shimamoto-cho, Mishima-gun, Osaka 618-8503, Japan.


The yeast species Saccharomyces bayanus and Saccharomyces pastorianus are of industrial importance since they are involved in the production process of common beverages such as wine and lager beer; however, they contain strains whose variability has been neither fully investigated nor exploited in genetic improvement programs. We evaluated this variability by using PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of 48 genes and partial sequences of 16. Within these two species, we identified "pure" strains containing a single type of genome and "hybrid" strains that contained portions of the genomes from the "pure" lines, as well as alleles termed "Lager" that represent a third genome commonly associated with lager brewing strains. The two pure lines represent S. uvarum and S. bayanus, the latter a novel group of strains that may be of use in strain improvement programs. Hybrid lines identified include (i) S. cerevisiae/S. bayanus/Lager, (ii) S. bayanus/S. uvarum/Lager, and (iii) S. cerevisiae/S. bayanus/S. uvarum/Lager. The genome of the lager strains may have resulted from chromosomal loss, replacement, or rearrangement within the hybrid genetic lines. This study identifies brewing strains that could be used as novel genetic sources in strain improvement programs and provides data that can be used to generate a model of how naturally occurring and industrial hybrid strains may have evolved.

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