Week 3 at the AWRI has only increased my interests in the yeasts – I found out about the fascinating ‘Shipwreck yeast’ as it is casually called. As I understand it there is a shipwreck in the Bass Strait out of which some old beer bottles were unearthed. The staff at the AWRI were able to isolate 220 year old yeasts from one of these bottles and then partnered with James Squire to produce a beer. The story is told much better by many more people, here are a few links.
I have also been doing some more detailed reading about the birth and bud scars of yeasts. The drawing above is my impression of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (the variety that produces bread, beer, and wine). I drew it because I am unsure if I am allowed to reproduce other images I found.
I also found this quite delightful description of the separation of the budding yeast cells, it is an older publication but it is the most poetic description I have found. I find it easy to anthropomorphize this.
“Before separation the rims of the two scars of both cells are believed to lie in contact, strengthening the bond between cells. When, however, the cytoplasmic connection is lost, the independent increase in volume of the daughter cell results in a stretching of its birth scar; the shearing action between the two scars then causes the mechanical connection to break.”
From “Some Aspects of Cell Division in Saccharomyces cerevisiae”. A. A. Barton 1949