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Chinese Scientists Have Found That Beer Yeast May Originate On The Tibetan Plateau
- Sep 28, 2018 -

Depending on the fermentation process and the strains used, beer is usually divided into two broad categories: ale and lager.The former USES saccharomyces cerevisiae to ferment at a relatively high temperature, and the yeast often floats on the top.The latter is more resistant to cold and can be fermented at a low temperature (around 10 degrees Celsius).


People first made ale, which has been around for thousands of years.Lager, which is generally believed to have first appeared in Bavaria in Germany in the 15th century, quickly became popular, gradually replacing ale as the world's largest alcoholic beverage production and consumption.The beer that our country produces basically belongs to lager beer.


The lager fermentative strain, also known as Pasteur yeast, was formed by hybridization of the ale fermentative strain with another wild yeast, the latter being the most primitive "ancestor" of lager yeast.It gives lager yeast the ability to ferment in cold temperatures, but scientists have never been able to find out where it originated.


In 2011, a joint team of American, Argentine and Portuguese scientists found a new species of the genus saccharomyces cerevisiae in the Patagonia plateau region of Argentina, named zhenbei saccharomyces cerevisiae, which they believe is the wild parent of the lager yeast.This wild yeast could have been brought to Europe from South America through the trans-atlantic trade, where it interbred with ale yeast to form lager yeast.But historically and geographically, that hypothesis is a bit of a stretch.Because lagers in the middle of the 15th century in Germany, the transatlantic trade from the late 15th century Columbus discovered the new world began, after to bring beer yeast "ancestors" from Argentina to Europe, the late 15th century at the earliest, so that "Patagonia bayesian saccharomyces cerevisiae" is the "ancestors" version raga beer yeast by academic circles.


In recent years, bai fengyan, a researcher at the institute of microbiology of the Chinese academy of sciences, has conducted a systematic study on the collection, separation and systematic study of the yeast resources of the Tibetan plateau through the project of the Tibetan plateau microbiological resources hosted by the national key laboratory of fungi of the institute.It was found that the species diversity of saccharomyces cerevisiae in the qinghai-tibet plateau was much higher than that in other parts of the world, and the qinghai-tibet plateau or its neighboring areas may be the center of the diversity or origin of this kind of yeast.The genetic diversity of candida albicans is much higher than that of patagonian population.Through the analysis of multiple genes and genomes, it is found that there are three populations (lineages) in the qinghai-tibet plateau, among which one Tibetan population has a 99.82% sequence similarity with the lager yeast, which is the true wild parent of lager yeast.Therefore, bai fengyan's team put forward the theory that the qinghai-tibet plateau is the real origin of lager beer yeast.


The doctrine is also supported by geography and the history of world trade.As a large part of the Eurasian continent, trade and personnel exchanges are more convenient than the americas and Europe, which are separated by the Atlantic ocean.As early as the western han dynasty, zhang qian was sent to the western regions. The sino-european trade through the silk road was at least 1,500 years earlier than the transatlantic trade between the us and Europe.


SEP.28, 2018