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Loss of lager specific genes and subtelomeric regions define two different Saccharomyces cerevisiae lineages for Saccharomyces pastorianus Group I and II strains.

Authors: Chandre C. Monerawela, Tharappel C TC. James, Kenneth H KH. Wolfe, Ursula U. Bond
Published: 02/12/2015, FEMS yeast research

Abstract

Lager yeasts, Saccharomyces pastorianus, are interspecies hybrids between S. cerevisiae and S. eubayanus and are classified into Group I and Group II clades. The genome of the Group II strain, Weihenstephan 34/70, contains eight so-called 'lager-specific' genes that are located in subtelomeric regions. We evaluated the origins of these genes through bioinformatic and PCR analyses of Saccharomyces genomes. We determined that four are of cerevisiae origin while four originate from S. eubayanus. The Group I yeasts contain all four S. eubayanus genes but individual strains contain only a subset of the cerevisiae genes. We identified S. cerevisiae strains that contain all four cerevisiae 'lager-specific' genes, and distinct patterns of loss of these genes in other strains. Analysis of the subtelomeric regions uncovered patterns of loss in different S. cerevisiae strains. We identify two classes of S. cerevisiae strains: ale yeasts (Foster O) and stout yeasts with patterns of 'lager-specific' genes and subtelomeric regions identical to Group I and II S. pastorianus yeasts, respectively. These findings lead us to propose that Group I and II S. pastorianus strains originate from separate hybridization events involving different S. cerevisiae lineages. Using the combined bioinformatic and PCR data, we describe a potential classification map for industrial yeasts.

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