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Can J Microbiol. 2010 Oct;56(10):809-15. doi: 10.1139/w10-068.

Effect of culture age, protectants, and initial cell concentration on viability of freeze-dried cells of Metschnikowia pulcherrima.

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Department of Exploitation and Protection of Agricultural and Forestry Resources, University of Turin, Grugliasco, TO, Italy.


The effect of freeze-drying using different lyoprotectants at different concentrations on the viability and biocontrol efficacy of Metschnikowia pulcherrima was evaluated. The effects of initial yeast cell concentration and culture age on viability were also considered. Yeast cells grown for 36 h were more resistant to freeze-drying than were 48 h cells. An initial concentration of 10⁸ cells·mL⁻¹ favoured the highest survival after freeze-drying. When maltose (25%, m/v) was used as protectant, a high cell viability was obtained (64.2%). Cells maintained a high viability after 6 months of storage at 4 °C. The biocontrol efficacy of freeze-dried cells was similar to the activity of fresh cells on 'Gala' apples and was slightly lower on 'Golden Delicious' apples. After optimizing freeze-drying conditions, the viability of M. pulcherrima cells was similar to that obtained in other studies. The results constitute a first step towards the commercial development of M. pulcherrima as a biocontrol agent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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