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Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2010;1:139-62. doi: 10.1146/annurev.food.080708.100734.

Genetics of yeast impacting wine quality.

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  • 1Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA. lfbisson@ucdavis.edu


The availability of the sequence of the Saccharomyces genome in combination with the development of chemical analytical technologies with dynamic ranges sensitive enough to detect volatile aromatic compounds has generated a renewed interest in defining the role of yeast in the generation of wine aroma and flavor. Genetic differences among wine strains are well documented and aroma profiles also appear to vary, implying that specific allelic alterations may exist and impact the production of compounds associated with flavor. Partial or complete sequencing data on several wine strains are available and reveal underlying genetic differences across strains in key genes implicated in flavor formation. This review discusses the current understanding of the roles of Saccharomyces in wine flavor with an emphasis on positive contributions to flavor and highlights the discoveries of the underlying enzymatic and metabolic mechanisms responsible for the yeast contribution to wine quality.

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