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Dana Somers, October 18

Please join the department of Biology in welcoming Dr. Dana Somers, Associate Professor of Biology and Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program at Dickenson College, for her talk entitled, "Taming of the wild yeast: Domestication of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces paradoxus" The talk will be held via Zoom on October 18, 2021 at 4pm EST. For access to the Zoom information, please contact Sarah Farris at

More on the talk:

The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is essential to the production of various food, beverages, and biofuels, and has been utilized by humans for thousands of years. Consequently, many different domesticated populations of S. cerevisiae exist, including those from wine, baking, and brewing, in which strains with particular characteristics (e.g., increased fermentative capacity in brewing strains and high ethanol tolerance in wine strains) have been selected over multiple generations. Laboratory strains of S. cerevisiae have also been subject to domestication, through repeated selection for the ability to grow efficiently in a laboratory environment. To understand the evolutionary dynamics of laboratory domestication, wild strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces paradoxus have been passaged daily under standard laboratory conditions for approximately 1000 generations. Domesticated populations exhibit changes in growth, reduced environmental stress resistance, and loss of sporulation efficiency as compared to original wild strains. Sequencing of domesticated populations and wild strains is expected to identify genomic changes driving these phenotypic changes. 

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