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Microbiol Res. 2002;157(4):267-74.

Isolation and identification of yeasts associated with vineyard and winery by RFLP analysis of ribosomal genes and mitochondrial DNA.

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  • 1Unidad de Microbiologia, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Rovira i Virgili, Institut d'Estudis Avançats, 43201-Reus, Tarragona, Spain.


Yeast colonies isolated from vineyard and cellar substrates were analysed in the present study. Yeast species assessment was carried out by amplification and digestion of a region of the ribosomal RNA gene repeat unit. Saccharomyces strains were also characterised using mitochondrial DNA restriction analysis. Oxidative basidiomycetous yeasts without enological potential were predominant in the vineyard environment. Yeasts associated with grape skin depend on grape variety, vintage and degree of grape maturation. These species from grape surface constituted the predominant microbiota in must and they developed during the first stages of the process. Yeasts colonies were also isolated and identified from the walls of a fermentation vat some days before the harvest. Contray to what was expected, Saccharomyces cerevisiae was not the major species isolated as Candida sorbosa represented 76% of the species isolated. Saccharomyces strains isolated from the fermentation vat had been previously isolated in wine fermentations in this cellar. Therefore, these strains should be considered as constant residents of this winery.

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