Oregon is the first in the nation to officially adopt a state microbe – and – you guessed it – they gave the nod to Brewer’s Yeast (Gaston 2013)
Saccharomyces cerevisiae now joins the Chinook Salmon, American Beaver, Douglas Fir, Hazelnut, and Western Meadowlark, among others, as the official representatives of the great state of Oregon.
Other states have tried to name a state microbe, e.g., Wisconsin proposed to adopt Lactococcus lactis (bacteria essential to making cheese), and Hawaii proposed Flavobacterium akiainvivens (a bacterium unique to Hawaii), but so far these attempts have been unsuccessful.
We think Oregon’s salute to this unassuming unicelluar organism is really quite fitting considering its contribution to the state economy (2.4 billion dollar craft beer industry) and to the happiness of the masses (at least from our point of view).
So, last, but not Yeast (couldn’t resist that one), given the importance of this single-celled organism to our livelihood, and to the pleasure it brings many, let’s lift our glass to S. cerevisiae – State Microbe of Oregon – Cheers!