A multiplex set of species-specific primers for rapid identification of members of the genus Saccharomyces

Alastair Muir, Elizabeth Harrison, Alan Wheals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (SciVal)


The Saccharomyces genus (previously Saccharomyces sensu stricto) formally comprises Saccharomyces arboricola, Saccharomyces bayanus, Saccharomyces cariocanus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyces kudriavzevii, Saccharomyces mikatae, Saccharomyces paradoxus and Saccharomyces pastorianus. Species-specific primer pairs that produce a single band of known and different product size have been developed for each member of the clade with the exception of S. pastorianus, which is a polyphyletic allopolyploid hybrid only found in lager breweries, and for which signature sequences could not be reliably created. Saccharomyces cariocanus is now regarded as an American variant of S. paradoxus, and accordingly a single primer pair that recognizes both species was developed. A different orthologous and essential housekeeping gene was used to detect each species, potentially avoiding competition between PCR primers and overlap between amplicons. In multiplex format, two or more different species could be identified in a single reaction; double and triple hybrids could not always be correctly identified. Forty-two unidentified yeasts from sugar cane juice fermentations were correctly identified as S. cerevisiae. A colony PCR method was developed that is rapid, robust, inexpensive and capable of automation, requires no mycological expertise on the part of the user and is thus useful for large-scale preliminary screens
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-563
Number of pages12
JournalFEMS Yeast Research
Issue number7
Early online date25 Aug 2011
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


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