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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2010 Dec;33(8):461-7. doi: 10.1016/j.syapm.2010.09.003. Epub 2010 Nov 20.

Molecular and biochemical diversity of Oenococcus oeni strains isolated during spontaneous malolactic fermentation of Malvasia Nera wine.

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CNR, Institute of Science of Food Production (ISPA), Prov.le Lecce-Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy.


The diversity of indigenous Oenococcus oeni strains was investigated by molecular and biochemical characterization of isolates from Malvasia Nera wine, an economically important red wine of the Salento Region (Apulia, Italy), during spontaneous malolactic fermentation (MLF). A total of 82 isolates of this species, identified by species-specific PCR and 16S rDNA sequence analysis, was molecularly characterized by the amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) technique. Three main groups resulted from cluster analysis and showed intraspecific homology higher than 50%, and a total of seven subgroups, with similarity values ranged from 80% to 98%, were obtained within these groups. Enzymatic activities, such as esterase, β-glucosidase, protease, and the consumption rate of l-malic acid, citric acid, acetaldehyde and arginine were assessed in the representative strains, according to AFLP analysis. The results showed different enzymatic activities and consumption rates of the tested metabolites among the strains. No correlation between molecular and biochemical data was observed. The evidence of biochemical variability observed among Malvasia Nera strains demonstrated that the wine aroma can be modulated depending on the strains involved in MLF. Hence, the heterogeneity existing within natural O. oeni populations represents an interesting ecological source that can be useful for technological purposes.

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