Yeast and plant power
Monday 20th May 2019
Doors Open 18:30 | Event 19:00 - 22:30
Café Rad van Wageningen
1e Kloostersteeg 3, 6701 DL Wageningen

Dick de Ridder


University of Wageningen


Science of a pint

Beers are brewed using yeast, with different strains producing different types of beer. For brewing lager, Saccharomyces pastorianus is often used. These yeasts are natural hybrids, originating from the spontaneous hybridization of the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker’s yeast) and Saccharomyces eubayanus.

I have been involved in the sequencing and analysis of the genome of S. pastorianus strain CBS1483. We found evidence for two different groups of lager yeasts, with different genomic characteristics. Our findings fit in an intriguing picture of the evolution of lager yeasts that emerged over the past decade. The lager yeast example provides evidence of how organisms use copy number variation and aneuploidy to adapt to new environments.


Surviving a changing planet

Plants are incredible and fascinating organisms.  Despite their sessility and their inability to run away from environmental threats they can cope with many dangerous stimuli. As plant scientists we are studying how plants avoid or tolerate environmental stresses and we try to understand what is required to ‘teach the trick’ to plants that we humans find useful.

Charlotte Gommers

Assistant Professor

University of Wageningen


Few months ago (February 2019) I have started my new research activity here in the Netherlands in Pr. Christa Testerink´s lab at WUR. My new research question involves the understanding of how plants respond to salt stress. During the research that I have carried out in Norway, I have observed that plants mutated in specific cell wall sensing proteins show different behaviours in response to salt application. Thus, I am planning on identifying, at least in part, the molecular mechanism required for the activation of these responses in plants, to shed light on our current understanding of salt susceptibility.

Nora Gigli Bisceglia

Post-doctoral scientist

University of Wageningen