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Yeast. 1997 Feb;13(2):101-17.

Determination of the relative ploidy in different Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains used for fermentation and 'flor' film ageing of dry sherry-type wines.

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Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Cordoba, Spain.


The full chromosomal karyotype of six enological Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains used for fermentation and biological ageing of sherry-type wines was studied. A genetic method based on the analysis of segregation frequencies of auxotrophic markers, among random spore progeny of hybrids, constructed between laboratory and industrial wine strains (Bakalinsky and Snow, 1990) was used. This method was combined with the analysis of strains by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The results obtained clearly indicate the presence of two, three or four copies of a chromosome in the industrial strains examined, and thus confirm that aneuploidy/polyploidy is not uncommon in these strains. In all strains examined, chromosome XIII polysomy is observed. This chromosome contains the ADH2 and ADH3 loci, that code for the ADHII and ADHIII isoenzymes of alcohol dehydrogenase, which are involved in ethanol oxidative utilization during biological ageing of wines. Tetrad analysis for the 'flor formation' character suggest two possibilities: this character is either regulated by at least a digenic system, or by only one gene present on a chromosome which is, at least, disomic.

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