From International Business Times (“Scientists Solve Lager Beer Mystery, Crack Yeast’s DNA Code”, August 23, 2011), we learn that cracking the DNA of the brewer’s yeast used to make lager revealed a hybrid “representing a marriage of species as evolutionarily separate as humans and chickens.” (Maybe so, but the technical difficulties attending a “chickman” are doubtless much greater.)
While scientists and brewers have long known that the yeast that gives beer the capacity to ferment at cold temperatures was a hybrid, only one player was known: Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Its partner, which conferred on beer the ability to ferment in the cold, remained a puzzle, as scientists were unable to find it among the 1,000 or so species of yeast known to science.
Now, researchers have identified the wild yeast that, in the age of sail, apparently traveled more than 7,000 miles to those Bavarian caves to make a fortuitous microbial match that today underpins the $250 billion-a-year lager beer industry.
It’s been named “Saccharomyces eubayanus.”
It would be interesting to know how often hybridization has been the actual source of new characteristics currently attributed to Darwinism.
For example, see also: “Spectacular” instance of interspecies mouse hybrids produces immunity to most poisons