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Schizosaccharomyces, along with Saccharomyces species, represent one of the most widely studied yeast genera. This is partly due to the ease at which cell structure and cell cycle events can be visualized; cells are rod-shaped and do not divide by budding, but through lateral fission via cross-wall formation, which causes individuals to take on a ‘v'-like configuration during vegetative growth. Due to their distinctive budding pattern, Schizos- accharomyces yeasts look considerably different to other yeasts encountered within the brewery. Cells are typically uniform and although pseudohyphae may be present, pellicles are not generally formed. Similar to Saccharomyces yeasts, Schizosaccharomy- ces are primarily heterothallic (although mating type switching can occur), producing linear or dumbbell-shaped asci. By far the most common species, Sch. pombe, is employed in traditional African beers (pombe being the Swahili word for beer), some fermented tea products, and can be found naturally associated with soil and plants including barley. Sch. pombe is a Crabtree-positive yeast (see section 'Sugar uptake and metabolism of beer-spoiling yeasts') capable of fermentation and shows osmophilic properties and resistance to some chemical preservatives. Although it is not a widely reported beer-spoiling yeast, the presence of this organism can lead to off-flavour production and inconsistent fermentations.

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