DNA Fingerprinting: Authentication of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strains

NCYC will:

  • Detect and isolate non-Saccharomyces strains from brewing or other Saccharomyces cultures.
  • Check if Saccharomyces cultures are composed of a single or multiple strains and isolate individual strains from a mixture.
  • Perform quality checks on Saccharomyces cultures by comparing them to previous production cultures and checking for genetic drift.

Quality assurance is a very important concern for yeast supply companies and the manufacturers of yeast-derived products. A large number of different yeast strains are currently used in brewing, baking, distilling and wine making, each strain having been developed to exhibit specific characteristics. It is essential that each individual strain is uniquely identified and differentiated from any wild yeast contaminants.

A quality assurance test, therefore, must have the ability to discriminate even between closely related strains. A number of approaches such as RFLP mapping, OFAGE and Southern blotting techniques have been adapted to fulfil this requirement, but these are costly in terms of time and materials and limited in the number of samples which can be readily processed.

During a project funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, we devised a new approach to the rapid identification of individual yeast strains, based on the amplification of repeat sequences within the genome of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This method is now available to commercial organisations.

The NCYC can accept samples of brewing, baking or other Saccharomyces cultures direct from the manufacturing process.

Please contact the Collection manager for further details before sending cultures.

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