The inheritance of mtDNA in lager brewing strains.FEMS Yeast Res. 2008 Jun; 8(4):586-96.FY
In this work, we compared the mtDNA of a number of interspecific Saccharomyces hybrids (Saccharomyces cerevisiae x Saccharomyces uvarum and S. cerevisiae x Saccharomyces bayanus) to the mtDNA of 22 lager brewing strains that are thought to be the result of a natural hybridization between S. cerevisiae and another Saccharomyces yeast, possibly belonging to the species S. bayanus. We detected that in hybrids constructed in vitro, the mtDNA could be inherited from either parental strain. Conversely, in the lager strains tested, the mtDNA was never of the S. cerevisiae type. Moreover, the nucleotide sequence of lager brewing strains COXII gene was identical to S. bayanus strain NBRC 1948 COXII gene. MtDNA restriction analysis carried out with three enzymes confirmed this finding. However, restriction analysis with a fourth enzyme (AvaI) provided restriction patterns for lager strains that differed from those of S. bayanus strain NBRC 1948. Our results raise the hypothesis that the human-driven selection carried out on existing lager yeasts has favored only those bearing optimal fermentation characteristics at low temperatures, which harbor the mtDNA of S. bayanus.