We have used the techniques of DNA fingerprinting and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with probes specific for hypervariable repetitive DNA sequences (mini- and microsatellite DNAs) to analyze 36 yeast strains belonging to 10 species and 2 genera. Using (GTG)5, (GACA)4, phage M13 DNA and the M13 sequence GAGGGTGGCGGTTCT as probes and primers, respectively, we obtained DNA polymorphisms which allowed us to discriminate 23 biotechnologically important strains of the yeast Saccaromyces cerevisiae and to distinguish them from strains of S. pastorianus, S. bayanus and S. willianus.
Our results demonstrate that both DNA and PCR fingerprinting are suitable tools for an easy, fast and reliable molecular typing of yeasts. The DNA fingerprinting method seems to be more sensitive than PCR fingerprinting with respect to the individualization of strains. Nevertheless, using the PCR fingerprinting technique we were able to unambigously dicriminate between yeast genotypes of different species. Therefore, PCR fingerprinting might become a useful tool in the classification of yeasts on the basis of phylogenetic relatedness.