A brief history of lager yeast

Some tasty research if you are of the set who enjoy a good pint of beer. GenomeWebNews reports on a study in Genome Research by Barbara Dunn and Gavin Sherlock at Stanford, looking at the history of lager yeast Saccharomyces pastorianus, a hybrid of S. cerevisiae and S. bayanus. Using array Comparative Genome Hybridization (aCGH) they trace the history of S. pastorianus lager strains to show that they sort into two distinct groups indicating there might have been at least two independent origins of the hybrid strain/species both derived from an ale yeast.

The CGH data also indicates there have been many genome rearrangements and aneuploidies after the hybridization providing an interesting picture of recent post-allopolyploidy changes in two independent experiments. Lots more delicious genome evolution details in the paper, so drink up!