Brewer's wort is a challenging environment for yeast as it contains predominantly a-glucoside sugars. There exist two subgroups of the lager yeast Saccharomyces pastorianus which differ in sugar utilisation. We performed wort fermentations and compared representative strains from both groups with respect to their ability to transport and ferment maltose and maltotriose. Additionally, we mapped the transporters MALx1, AGT1, MPHx and MTT1 by Southern blotting. Contrary to previous observations, group I comprises a diverse set of strains, with varying ability to transport and ferment maltotriose. Of the eight group I strains, three efficiently utilised maltotriose, a property enabled by the presence of transmembrane transporters SeAGT1 and MTT1. A58, a variant of the group I type strain (CBS1513) performed particularly well, taking up maltotriose at a higher rate than maltose and retaining significant transport activity at temperatures as low as 0?C. Analysis of transporter distribution in this strain revealed an increased copy number of the MTT1 gene, which encodes the only permease known with higher affinity for maltotriose than maltose and low temperature dependence for transport. We propose that much of the variation in lager yeast fermentation behaviour is determined by the presence or absence of specific transmembrane transporters.
- A-glucoside transporters
- Group I