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Diego Libkind, Institute for Biodiversity
and Environment Research, Bariloche, Argentina
Creating a hybrid in the wild between two yeast species is one in a billion, but when it did occur, it created a huge industry in lager. This was the hybridization between Saccharomyces cerevisiae Saccharomyces eubayanus, which lives inside tree galls and can conduct fermentation at low temperatures.
Repeating the process would make advancements in alcohol fermentation, biofuel, and more. More yeast variants accomplish many things: reduction of monoculture, more variations to experiment with with regards to flavor, enhancing production, and even making new products. The plasmids then came be removed, essentially locking the new yeast's DNA in, unchanged.
Plasmids are vital to making new variations. Inserted into the two species, they exhibit a protein that makes two distinct yeast species to mate. This also can help overcome a creative bottleneck, as industrial yeasts cannot make spores.
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