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FEMS Yeast Res. 2009 Aug;9(5):774-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1567-1364.2009.00520.x. Epub 2009 May 15.

Yeast diversity of Ghanaian cocoa bean heap fermentations.

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1
Belgian Coordinated Collection of Microorganisms, Unité de Microbiologie, Mycothèque de l'Université catholique de Louvain, Croix du Sud 3, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. heide-marie.daniel@uclouvain.be

Abstract

The fermentation of the Theobroma cacao beans, involving yeasts, lactic acid bacteria, and acetic acid bacteria, has a major influence on the quality of the resulting cocoa. An assessment of the microbial community of cocoa bean heap fermentations in Ghana resulted in 91 yeast isolates. These were grouped by PCR-fingerprinting with the primer M13. Representative isolates were identified using the D1/D2 region of the large subunit rRNA gene, internal transcribed spacer sequences and partial actin gene sequences leading to the detection of 15 species. Properties of importance for cocoa bean fermentation, namely sucrose, glucose, and citrate assimilation capacity, pH-, ethanol-, and heat-tolerance, were examined for selected isolates. Pichia kudriavzevii (Issatchenkia orientalis), Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Hanseniaspora opuntiae formed the major components of the yeast community. Hanseniaspora opuntiae was identified conclusively for the first time from cocoa fermentations. Among the less frequently encountered species, Candida carpophila, Candida orthopsilosis, Kodamaea ohmeri, Meyerozyma (Pichia) caribbica, Pichia manshurica, Saccharomycodes ludwigii, and Yamadazyma (Pichia) mexicana were not yet documented from this substrate. Hanseniaspora opuntiae was preferably growing during the earlier phase of fermentation, reflecting its tolerance to low pH and its citrate-negative phenotype, while no specific temporal distribution was recognized for P. kudriavzevii and S. cerevisiae.

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