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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2011 Mar;89(5):1551-61. doi: 10.1007/s00253-010-2909-4. Epub 2010 Oct 13.

Towards an understanding of the adaptation of wine yeasts to must: relevance of the osmotic stress response.

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  • 1Departament de Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular, Facultat de Ciències Biològiques, Universitat de València, Dr. Moliner 50, 46100 Burjassot, Valencia, Spain.


During the transformation of grape must sugars in ethanol, yeasts belonging to Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains are particularly involved. One of the stress conditions that yeast cells have to cope with during vinification, especially at the time of inoculation into must, is osmotic stress caused by high sugar concentrations. In this work, we compare several laboratory and wine yeast strains in terms of their ability to start growth in must. By means of transcriptomic approaches and the determination of glycerol intracellular content, we propose several clues for yeast strains to adapt to the wine production conditions: the high expression of genes involved in both biosynthetic processes and glycerol biosynthesis, and the appropriate levels of intracellular glycerol. Besides, we demonstrate that the pre-adaptation of the wine yeast strains showing growth problems at the beginning of vinification in a rehydration medium containing 2% or 5% glucose (depending on the yeast strain considered) may increase their vitality when inoculated into high sugar media.

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