The yeasts that ferment beer, bread, and wine all over the world appear to have originated in China. The same is true for yeast found in sewage, termite mounds, infected tissue, horse dung, fruit flies, human blood, seawater, a rotting banana, and hundreds of sources. That’s the conclusion of two French scientists who spent several years analyzing the DNA of 1,011 yeast samples collected from all over the world. The telltale clue: the yeast are all related, but those with the most genetic diversity are found in and around China. The more diversity, the longer the yeast have been around.
Read more in All of the World’s Yeast Probably Originated in China by Sarah Zhang in theatlantic.com (2018)
See also the full-text of the scientific paper Genome evolution across 1,011 Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates published in Nature (2018)