The brewing industry generates $350 billion in revenue in the US annually, representing 1.9% of the gross domestic product. Spoilage is a persistent problem throughout production and distribution that causes economic loss, and is therefore meticulously avoided. Contrarily, artisanal sour beers are necessarily produced by a diverse variety of these spoilage organisms metabolically interacting in symbiosis as a microbial ecosystem. We sought to gain insight into factors driving assembly of microbial communities by testing a long-debated Darwinian hypothesis. A collection of community members were screened in co-culture and novel bioinformatics tools were developed to predict observed interactions. A fundamental understanding of these relationships is paramount to beer production and sets a precedent for the study of similar microbial communities that impact human health.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Medicine
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Kettring, Andrew, "The Microbial Ecosystem of Beer Spoilage and Souring: Competition and Cooperation in the Age of Bioinformatics" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6035.