Ploidy influences the functional attributes of de novo lager yeast hybrids

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Kristoffer Krogerus
  • Mikko Arvas
  • Matteo de Chiara
  • Frederico Magalhães
  • Laura Mattinen
  • Merja Oja
  • Virve Vidgren
  • Jia Xing Yue
  • Gianni Liti
  • Brian Gibson

Research units

  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • Université Nice Sophia Antipolis
  • ValiRx Finland Oy


The genomes of hybrid organisms, such as lager yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae × Saccharomyces eubayanus), contain orthologous genes, the functionality and effect of which may differ depending on their origin and copy number. How the parental subgenomes in lager yeast contribute to important phenotypic traits such as fermentation performance, aroma production, and stress tolerance remains poorly understood. Here, three de novo lager yeast hybrids with different ploidy levels (allodiploid, allotriploid, and allotetraploid) were generated through hybridization techniques without genetic modification. The hybrids were characterized in fermentations of both high gravity wort (15 °P) and very high gravity wort (25 °P), which were monitored for aroma compound and sugar concentrations. The hybrid strains with higher DNA content performed better during fermentation and produced higher concentrations of flavor-active esters in both worts. The hybrid strains also outperformed both the parent strains. Genome sequencing revealed that several genes related to the formation of flavor-active esters (ATF1, ATF2¸ EHT1, EEB1, and BAT1) were present in higher copy numbers in the higher ploidy hybrid strains. A direct relationship between gene copy number and transcript level was also observed. The measured ester concentrations and transcript levels also suggest that the functionality of the S. cerevisiae- and S. eubayanus-derived gene products differs. The results contribute to our understanding of the complex molecular mechanisms that determine phenotypes in lager yeast hybrids and are expected to facilitate targeted strain development through interspecific hybridization.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7203–7222
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Brewing, Heterosis, Hybrid, Lager yeast, Rare mating, S. eubayanus

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