Thesis defence A.R. Gorter de Vries: yeast

06 September 2019 10:00 - Location: Aula, TU Delft - By: webredactie

Genome analysis and engineering of industrial lager brewing yeasts. Promotor 1: J.G. Daran (TNW); Promotor 2: Prof.dr. J.T. Pronk (TNW).

Pilsner beer, the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world, is brewed using the yeast Saccharomyces pastorianus. This yeast emerged around 500 years ago when a common baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) was crossed with a wild Saccharomyces yeast. The resulting hybrid combines the ability to digest sugars from malted barley to alcohol with the ability to grow at low temperatures, creating the typical fresh taste of pilsner beer. The genetic material of this hybrid is extremely complex, making its DNA extremely challenging to map and to modify compared to the common baker's yeast.

During this study, the complex DNA of hybrid beer-brewing yeast has been mapped, methods were developed for genetic modification with CRISPR and a new mechanism through which genetic modification can cause unwanted DNA damage was discovered. Evolving hybrid yeast in the laboratory yielded new insights into how hybrid beer-brewing yeast emerged from a single serendipitously-formed hybrid during its domestication. Moreover, a new method without genetic modification was developed to develop yeast strains for brewing of Pilsner beer.

More information?

For access to theses by the PhD students you can have a look in TU Delft Repository, the digital storage of publications of TU Delft. Theses will be available within a few weeks after the actual thesis defence.