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Unstable chromosome regions are the origin of yeast's brewing capacity
Date:5/14/2010

ene nurseries".

Duplication process is of great importance for beer yeast

It appears that duplication at the subtelomeres already occurred in the ancestor of our industrial beer and wine yeasts- Modern strains of beer yeast contain five to ten copies of a prehistoric gene that allows for some sugars to be digested. Each of these modern copies ensures that yeast can digest a particular sugar, and this is much faster than the prehistoric yeast. The massive duplications occurred probably around the Cretaceous era (66 to 145 million years ago). It was no coincidence that this involved the same period in which sweet fruits and grains developed. The duplication of the genes and the further evolution thereof, allowed yeast cells to digest the different sugars in the fruits. In this way, the subtelomeric "gene copying laboratory" ensured that yeasts were able to conquer a new niche. Interestingly, it seems likely that similar subtelomeric gene duplication also stimulates evolution and adaptation in higher organisms, including humans.


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Contact: Joris Gansemans
joris.gansemans@vib.be
32-472-594-067
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
Source:Eurekalert

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