Effect of must characteristics on the diversity of Saccharomyces strains and their prevalence in spontaneous fermentations.

Estación de Viticultura e Enoloxía de Galicia, Ponte San Clodio s/n, Ourense, Spain.
Journal of Applied Microbiology (Impact Factor: 2.2). 03/2012; 112(5):936-44. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2012.05278.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to investigate whether grapevine variety and must characteristics influence the diversity of Saccharomyces strains and their prevalence during spontaneous fermentations.
Musts from different grapevine varieties, all of them autochthonous from Galicia, were used to perform spontaneous fermentations. Yeasts were isolated from the must and at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of fermentations. Those yeasts identified as Saccharomyces were characterized at the strain level by analysis of mtDNA-RFLP. The results showed a low diversity of Saccharomyces strains, which was related to must sugar content and total acidity. Moreover, from a total of 44 different Saccharomyces strains, only eleven of them appeared at frequencies higher than 20% and were able to lead fermentations. A significant correlation between yeast strains and must acidity was observed, with the predominance of certain strains at high acidity values.
Must characteristics, such as sugar content and acidity, influence the Saccharomyces strains diversity and the leader strains during fermentation.
These results showed the adaptation of certain Saccharomyces strains to must with specific characteristics; this may be considered by winemakers for yeast inocula selection. Our findings have special relevance because this is the first study carried out in Galicia dealing with the influence of must properties on yeast strains that control fermentations.

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