Try to picture an orgy of super sex-crazed strains of yeast swirling about in that glass of wine you're about to swallow without feeling a bit weird about it.
According to EurekaAlert, researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered that many commercial yeast strains are super promiscuous, which makes their lineage difficult to trace, but is also the secret to why wine is so tasty. Gavin Sherlock, an associate professor of genetics and senior author of the research explains:
The strain of yeast used in fermentation definitely affects the flavor of the wine, and we thought that these strains would fall into a nice evolutionary-tree-like structure with a common ancestor.
But instead, the researchers found that
the yeast DNA was all mixed up from various strains and species. The researchers aren't sure whether the yeast's promiscuous behavior was encouraged by winemakers and bakers over time, or if it naturally occurred on its own.
They plan to investigate further and try to trace the genealogy of some of the strains in hopes of understanding how it affects wine production.