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Sci Rep. 2015 Sep 24;5:14233. doi: 10.1038/srep14233.

Regional microbial signatures positively correlate with differential wine phenotypes: evidence for a microbial aspect to terroir.

Author information

1
School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.
2
Department of Statistics, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.
3
School of Chemical Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.
4
The School of Life Sciences, The University of Lincoln, Lincoln, LN6 7DL, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Many crops display differential geographic phenotypes and sensorial signatures, encapsulated by the concept of terroir. The drivers behind these differences remain elusive, and the potential contribution of microbes has been ignored until recently. Significant genetic differentiation between microbial communities and populations from different geographic locations has been demonstrated, but crucially it has not been shown whether this correlates with differential agricultural phenotypes or not. Using wine as a model system, we utilize the regionally genetically differentiated population of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in New Zealand and objectively demonstrate that these populations differentially affect wine phenotype, which is driven by a complex mix of chemicals. These findings reveal the importance of microbial populations for the regional identity of wine, and potentially extend to other important agricultural commodities. Moreover, this suggests that long-term implementation of methods maintaining differential biodiversity may have tangible economic imperatives as well as being desirable in terms of employing agricultural practices that increase responsible environmental stewardship.

PMID:
26400688
PMCID:
PMC4585847
DOI:
10.1038/srep14233
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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