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Electrophoresis. 2009 Sep;30(17):2988-95. doi: 10.1002/elps.200900228.

Proteomic analysis of Oenococcus oeni freeze-dried culture to assess the importance of cell acclimation to conduct malolactic fermentation in wine.

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Dipartimento di Biotecnologie, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.


Cultures of Oenococcus oeni, the most important malolactic bacterium, are used to induce malolactic fermentation in wine. Survival assays in two different wines confirmed that cells acclimated for 24 h in half-strength wine-like medium (acclimation medium) enhanced the malolactic performances. To investigate the effect of the pre-incubation phase on cell physiology, a proteomic study was carried out. Total protein extracts of acclimated and non-acclimated cell cultures (control) were analyzed by 2-D-PAGE. A total of 20 out of approximately 400 spots varied significantly. All the spots were identified by MS analysis and most of them were proteins involved in metabolism, transcription/translation processes and stress response. The results revealed the different physiological status between non-acclimated and acclimated cells explaining, in part, their different behavior in wine. Regulation of stress proteins such as heat and cold shock proteins was involved. Moreover, the availability of sugars and amino acids (even if at low concentration) in acclimation medium determined a modulation of energy metabolism enhancing the resistance to stressful conditions (as those that cells find in wine when inoculated). Finally, this proteomic study increased knowledge concerning the physiological changes in freeze-dried culture occurring with pre-inoculation procedures.

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