Feeds

Argentina: home of Bavarian lager

It’s in the DNA

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Beer has been around for millennia, but lager is more recent, invented in Germany about 600 years ago. Its secret is a particular yeast, and now American scientists believe they’ve identified an ancestor of that yeast – in Argentina.

Lager brewers use a yeast called Saccharomyces pastorianus which ferments at lower temperatures than the long-domesticated ale yeast S. cerevisiae (also used in bread and wine).

According to the LA Times, the S. pastorianus yeast was identified as a hybrid back in the 1980s, but its parentage has remained a mystery.

After a five-year search, University of Wisconsin-Madison geneticist Chris Todd Hittinger discovered the wild yeast S. eubayanus growing on beech trees in Argentina.

The DNA of the wild yeast shows a 99.5 percent match with the non-ale DNA present in lager yeast, the researchers say. That offers up a new mystery: while lager is generally believed to have been invented in the 1400s, Europeans didn’t reach continental America until 1492. This suggests either that the wild yeast might also exist independently in Europe (although it hasn’t yet been found there); or that the South American yeast arrived in Europe by some other route; or that lager was invented later than thought.

In its native environment, the wild S. pastorianus grows on galls on beech trees – outgrowths caused by insect larvae. Those galls are high in sugar to feed the yeast, and native Patagonians used to make a fermented beverage from the galls.

The work is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (abstract here). ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.