Caister Academic Press

Genomics and Evolution of Beer Yeasts

Brigida Gallone, Stijn Mertens, Sam Crauwelse, Bart Lievense, Kevin J. Verstrepen and Jan Steensels
from: Brewing Microbiology: Current Research, Omics and Microbial Ecology (Edited by: Nicholas A. Bokulich and Charles W. Bamforth). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2017) Pages: 145-178.


The evolutionary adaptation of organisms to a specific niche is one of the most fascinating processes in biology. Classic Darwinian theory explains how the interplay between (genetic and phenotypic) variation on one hand, and selection on the other, drives evolution. For certain traits, evolutionary adaptation is forced by man-mediated selection, which results in domestication or the adaptation of organisms to man-made niches, as is commonly observed in crops, livestock, and pet animals. Yeasts serve as a very interesting model organism for adaptive evolution, since their small and compact genomes provide a very attractive and powerful model for comparative genomics and genome-evolution studies. Moreover, several species, such as the traditional baker's or brewer's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, have been subjected to natural as well as human selection, both of which shaped their genotypes and phenotypes. The emergence of whole-genome sequencing technologies resulted in an overwhelming amount of high-quality and highly detailed yeast genome sequences, allowing researchers to investigate how these yeasts interacted with (and adapted to) their environment. In this chapter, we describe how evolutionary processes shaped the genome and phenome of three intriguing yeast species associated with beer brewing: S. cerevisiae, Saccharomyces pastorianus, and Brettanomyces bruxellensis read more ...
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