SCIENTIFIC interests

Biodiversity and evolution of Saccharomyces species

Saccharomyces genus is becoming an exciting model genus of evolutionary genetics and genomics. Saccharomyces genus includes seven species: S. cerevisiae, S. paradoxus, S. mikatae, S. kudriavzevii, S. arboricola, S. uvarum and S. eubayanus. The ecology of this genus is diverse. Some species have been only found in natural environments, such as S. mikatae (decayed leaf, soils and oaks), S. kudriavzevii (decayed leaf, soil, oak), S. arboricola (oak trees), S. eubayanus (Nothofagus trees, Acer and Fagaceae); whereas S. cerevisiae, S. paradoxus and S. uvarum has been found associated to both natural and biotechnological environments, such as winemaking, brewing, baking, cider production, sake and bioethanol. The geographic distribution of these species is also diverse. S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus have been found in most world regions (Asia, Europe, America, Australia, New Zealand) where other species appear to be locally distributed as S. kudriavzevii (Europe and Asia), S. arboricola (Asia), S. eubayanus and S. uvarum (Asia, America, Australia).
Our interest is focused in the ecological distribution and the mechanisms driving these ecological and genomic differentiation among Saccharomyces species. Evolution of Saccharomyces species have been described not to be limited to a tree-like fashion, with several examples of hybridization, admixture, horizontal gene transfer, introgression that required a new layer of evolutionary thinking. We will explored this ecological and genomic diversity using genome sequencing, high-throughput phenotyping, the most up-to-date phylogenetic methods and R/Python scripting.


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