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Genetic analysis reveals mysterious evolution of brewer’s yeast that makes beer possible

| | March 13, 2019

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The strain of brewers’ yeast used to make beer, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, derives from versions used over thousands of years to make grape-wine in Europe and rice-wine in Asia, a new genetic analysis shows.

The analysis, which involved sequencing the genomes of 47 strains of brewers’ (or bakers’) yeast and 65 other strains of the same species, is published in the journal PLOS Biology….[T]he results reveal that beer-making S. cerevisiae is a very special fungus, indeed. In addition to being, as the researchers say, “the product of a historical melting pot of fermentation technology,” it also contains genes derived from a mysterious, unknown and possibly extinct, additional strain, and overall bears very little resemblance to any surviving wild strain.

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Read full, original article: The mysterious origins of beer

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