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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Comparative genomics among Saccharomyces cerevisiae × Saccharomyces kudriavzevii natural hybrid strains isolated from wine and beer reveals different origins

David Peris1, Christian A Lopes23, Carmela Belloch2, Amparo Querol2 and Eladio Barrio1*

Author Affiliations

1 ‘Cavanilles’ Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, University of Valencia, Parc Científic, P.O. Box 22085, E-46071, Valencia, Spain

2 Department of Biotechnology, Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (CSIC), Valencia, Spain

3 Yeast Biodiversity & Biotechnology Group. Instituto Multidisciplinario de Investigación y Desarrollo de la Patagonia Norte (IDEPA), CONICET, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Neuquén, Argentina

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BMC Genomics 2012, 13:407  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-407

Published: 20 August 2012



Interspecific hybrids between S. cerevisiae × S. kudriavzevii have frequently been detected in wine and beer fermentations. Significant physiological differences among parental and hybrid strains under different stress conditions have been evidenced. In this study, we used comparative genome hybridization analysis to evaluate the genome composition of different S. cerevisiae × S. kudriavzevii natural hybrids isolated from wine and beer fermentations to infer their evolutionary origins and to figure out the potential role of common S. kudriavzevii gene fraction present in these hybrids.


Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) and ploidy analyses carried out in this study confirmed the presence of individual and differential chromosomal composition patterns for most S. cerevisiae × S. kudriavzevii hybrids from beer and wine. All hybrids share a common set of depleted S. cerevisiae genes, which also are depleted or absent in the wine strains studied so far, and the presence a common set of S. kudriavzevii genes, which may be associated with their capability to grow at low temperatures. Finally, a maximum parsimony analysis of chromosomal rearrangement events, occurred in the hybrid genomes, indicated the presence of two main groups of wine hybrids and different divergent lineages of brewing strains.


Our data suggest that wine and beer S. cerevisiae × S. kudriavzevii hybrids have been originated by different rare-mating events involving a diploid wine S. cerevisiae and a haploid or diploid European S. kudriavzevii strains. Hybrids maintain several S. kudriavzevii genes involved in cold adaptation as well as those related to S. kudriavzevii mitochondrial functions.