Saturday, September 10, 2016

Genetic History of Yeast

"The beginning of agriculture and the domestication of plants and animals are among the most decisive events in the past 13,000 years of human history. Archaeological and biomolecular evidence indicates that rice wine was produced as far back as 7,000 BC in China. In Zagros mountains in Iran, wine was produced 5,000 BC and the domestication of barley in the Fertile Crescent led to the emergence of the forebear of modern beer in Sumeria 4,000 BC. Furthermore, yeast cells were detected in Egyptian leavened bread dough dated 3,000 BC and molecular evidence for the presence of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in wine fermentation has been obtained from pottery jars of the same period." - José Paulo Sampaio


"Rather than one or two domestication events leading to the extant baker's yeasts, the population structure of S. cerevisiae consists of a few well-defined, geographically isolated lineages and many different mosaics of these lineages, supporting the idea that human influence provided the opportunity for cross-breeding and production of new combinations of pre-existing variations." - Liti G, et al.

Original Research: Population genomics of domestic and wild yeasts.

Here It Is, the Genetic Family Tree of Beer

"The genetics research was led by Kevin Verstrepen, a yeast biologist at the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology and the University of Leuven, in Belgium. Verstrepen and his colleagues genetically sequenced more than 150 yeasts for the project. Most are brewers yeasts, with some wine, sake, bread, and biofuel-making yeasts thrown in to boot. Verstrepen notes that today's family tree focuses heavily on the yeast behind ales, and that his team is currently working on the genetic linage of the yeasts behind crisper, lighter lagers." - By William Herkewitz, Sep 8, 2016 

"By comparing the genetic makeup of modern yeasts the world over, Verstrepen found that the first linage of domesticated brewing yeasts (called Beer 1) formed around this time, the turn of the 17th century. This linage of yeasts started in breweries around Germany and Belgium. As brewers shared tips, tools, and yeast sediment, those yeast spread to breweries in the U.K., and then branched off into American breweries. Most of the yeasts used in brewing today fall under this Beer 1 linage."

Lager yeast father (Saccharomyces eubayanus):

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