If you hadn't seen it already, there is an interesting article in the March/April 2018 issue of Zymurgy discussing results of DNA testing of 96 assorted strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
As a science nut, I was deeply captivated by the article, and went ahead and pulled up the source paper for full details. I then proceeded to spend probably about 20 hours reviewing everything line by line in an attempt to blend (1) the official scientific results with (2) my own personal (flawed?) knowledge and intuition in order to come up with some additional conclusions and hypotheses, which I will admit are probably not 100% correct, but which people might find interesting nonetheless as food for thought and discussion.
So I thought I might share. Feel free to rip this stuff to shreds. But I think it's pretty dang interesting to think about. My own personal summary of the whole thing based on my own interests, experience, and intuition:
A) All beer yeast as we know it today has been in existence for only 400 years.
B) As such, prior to 1600, beers were likely entirely different than we experience today.
C) At least 9 "lager" strains out there are actually Sachharomyces cerevisiae ("ale" yeast).
D) Wyeast 1007/WLP036 is derived from bread yeast, explaining its vigor and bready character.
E) The smaller Beer 2 clave has a tendency for high attenution as it can eat maltotriose.
F) One abbey strain is a cousin of the Beer 2 clave, totally unrelated from all other beer yeasts since <1600.
G) One abbey strain originated from wine yeast.
H) 3 abbey strains are actually English in origin, while 3 remaining are distinctly Belgian.
I) 2 Belgian abbey strains and 1 English-derived abbey strain are unable to produce any clove.
J) Duvel yeast WLP570/1388 is confirmed to be a daughter of McEwan's WLP028/1728.
Go ahead. Think about the stuff. See if it makes any sense to you. Provide your own thoughts. Have fun with it.
Link to the source paper, FYI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2016.08.020