All the worlds beers have only two fathers!September 11th, 2008 - 4:20 pm ICT by ANI
London, September 11 (ANI): Geneticists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered that yeast strains used to brew the present day lager have two genetic ancestors, not one as previously thought.
The researchers say that their findings may be helpful in understanding the origins of the two major categories of lager made these days the Saaz beers like Pilsner and Budweiser, and the Frohberg beers such as Orangeboom and Heineken.
They already knew that the yeast Saccharomyces pastorianus, used to brew lager these days, is a hybrid produced through marriage between two yeast strains.
One was S. cerevisiae, the “brewer’’s yeast” on which the brewing industry is founded because it ferments sugars into alcohol so efficiently, while the other was S. bayanus, which is seldom used alone in brewing because it ferments sugar into alcohol far less efficiently.
Analysing the forensic ancestry of lager yeast, the researchers have now come to the conclusion that the same marriage happened independently at least twice, not once as previously thought, and gave rise to two broad families of lager beer.
Although both probably emerged during the Middle Ages in central Europe, their point of origin cannot be traced exactly.
“We can”t say for sure when, where or by whom they were isolated,” New Scientist magazine quoted Gavin Sherlock, who conducted the study with colleague Barbara Dunn, as saying.
When the researchers analysed 17 samples of lager yeast originally archived between 1883 and 1976, they found that the yeasts broadly fell into two groups.
Those in the first group were used to brew the Saaz-type beers, while those in the second group were used to brew the Frohberg lagers.
Sherlock and Dunn say that the two types of hybrids, though share the same parentage, differ from one another considerably.
The researchers also observed that both yeasts contained multiple copies of genes beneficial to brewing, such as those that ferment maltose. According to them, genes that mar the process had been lost.
Sherlock doubts whether the analysis will lead to ways of engineering new flavours and properties into beers.
“The pastorianus strains, being hybrids, are sterile, so you can”t do genetics on them in a straightforward way. Rather, beer makers have been doing this via natural selection over the past several centuries, selecting those strains for further use that produced the beers they most enjoyed drinking,” he says.
A research article describing the study has been published in the journal Genome Research. (ANI)
- Beer-brewing yeast found - Aug 24, 2011
- New yeast strain 'cuts major drawbacks of biofuel production methods' - Dec 28, 2010
- World's 'oldest beer' to be analysed, brewed again - Feb 09, 2011
- Source of insect buzz around beer identified - Nov 20, 2011
- Bioengineers develop bacterial strain to hike ethanol biofuel production - Dec 10, 2010
- Climate change adversely affects beer-making process - Sep 14, 2009
- Ratebeer.com rates Olde English 800 as worst beer ever - Oct 21, 2010
- Here's what an Iron Age beer tastes like - Jan 16, 2011
- Scientists achieve breakthrough in bioethanol production from agricultural waste - Nov 22, 2009
- Bacteria can anticipate future and prepare for it - Jun 18, 2009
- Beer gets makeover in Oz with infusion of different flavours - Mar 01, 2011
- Homebrew Kits To Accelerate The Process Of Homebrewing - Jan 11, 2011
- Bugs help make eco-friendly detergents - Mar 11, 2012
- Modified yeast could lead to more efficient, economical biofuel production - Aug 20, 2010
- Gelatin from humans could spice up desserts, candies - Jul 14, 2011
Tags: barbara dunn, beers, budweiser, central europe, ferment, gavin sherlock, geneticists, lagers, new scientist magazine, parentage, pilsner, point of origin, saaz, same marriage, school of medicine, second group, stanford university school, stanford university school of medicine, yeast strains, yeasts