Browsing by Author "Muller, Christo A."
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- ItemMonitoring the spreading of commercial wine yeasts in the vineyard(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2003-12) Muller, Christo A.; Pretorius, I. S.; Lambrechts, M. G.; Van Rensburg, P.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Dept. of Viticulture and Oenology. Institute for Wine Biotechnology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Traditionally, wine has been produced by the spontaneous fermentation of grape juice by yeast that originate from the grapes and winery equipment. Research has shown that the population composition and dynamics of these yeasts and other microorganisms are very complex. Kloeckera and its anamorph, Hanseniaspora, dominate the yeast population found on the surfaces of grapes, although prevailing Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains complete the fermentation process. The yeast S. cerevisiae is an important factor contributing to the quality of wines and, therefore, the improvement of wine yeasts receives considerable attention worldwide. Apart from classical yeast breeding studies, genetic engineering and recombinant DNA techniques are increasingly being used in strain development research programmes. These techniques might enable the wine yeasts to produce heterologous enzymes that degrade polysaccharides, convert malic acid to lactic acid, increase glycerol production, release roam and flavour compounds, secrete antimicrobial peptides, etc. The release of recombinant yeast strains (genetically modified organisms, GMOs) is subject to statutory approval. Therefore, it is important to answer several questions prior to the use of such genetically improved yeast in the commercial production of wine. For example, will recombinant yeast strains be able to multiply and spread in nature, and will this GMO be able to out-compete the natural microflora because of its newly acquired genetic traits. Since existing commercial wine yeasts are used in the abovementioned strain development research, it is essential to determine already at this early stage to what extent these wine yeast strains survive and spread in nature and to what extent they influence the fermentations of the following vintages. This study is divided into two sections. The aim of the first section is to sample a representative number of yeast strains from various vineyards in different climatological areas, mainly in the Western Cape, South Africa. These yeast strains were identified mainly by electrophoretic karyotyping (contour-clamped homogenous electric field electrophoresis; CHEF). The second part of the study summarises the results obtained when Fourier transform infrared (FT-NIR) spectroscopy was used to differentiate commercial wine yeast strains. Sets of data, containing the spectra of the mostly used commercial wine yeast strains, were constructed and used as a reference library. The spectra of the isolated yeast strains were then compared to the reference dataset with specific FT-NIR computer software using mathematical calculations. In conclusion, the two methods used in conjunction with one another proved that the commercial wine yeast strains do not easily disperse from the cellar into the vineyard. The commercial wine yeast strains are also more likely to be found near the cellar and the places where the grape skins are dumped. Therefore, should a recombinant yeast strain be used in winemaking, it would not be dispersed into the vineyard. It therefore appears that the commercial use of genetically improved yeast does not pose a high risk in terms of dominance of the indigenous microbial population in the environment