July 30, 2017

"Using the Hi-C technique, the team identified a yeast belonging to the genus Pichia, which turned out to be a hybrid of a known species called P. membranifaciens and another Pichia species completely new to science, the team recently reported on the preprint server bioRxiv."

science: Such yeast hybrids are common in brewing; in fact, lager yeast was recently discovered to be a hybrid of two Saccharomyces species. By Aleszu Bajak

'The scientists dubbed the new hybrid Pichia apotheca–Greek for “warehouse.”

'The brew also contained Saccharomyces and yet another yeast genus, Brettanomyces, which is found in many wild beers and sold commercially. In addition, the mix contained Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, and Acetobacter bacteria, all known to imbue a sour character to a beer.

'Dunham's team tried to brew a beer with P. apotheca alone, but that didn't work; the yeast produced little alcohol. That's not unusual; most yeasts found in mixed cultures won't brew a beer well on their own. But the hybrid may contribute to Old Warehouse's taste, the researchers write in their paper. Other Pichia species are known to spoil a beer, but the new hybrid seems to smell better, Dunham says. She's open to providing brewers with microbe isolates, if they want to experiment with them.'

"Identification of a novel interspecific hybrid yeast from a metagenomic open fermentation sample using Hi-C" by Caiti Smukowski Heil, et al. here

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