The impact of saccharomyces cerevisiae on a wine yeast consortium in natural and inoculated fermentations

Bagheri, Bahareh ; Bauer, Florian ; Setati, Mathabatha E. (2017)

CITATION: Bagheri, B., Bauer, F. F. & Setati, M. E. 2017. The impact of saccharomyces cerevisiae on a wine yeast consortium in natural and inoculated fermentations. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8:1988, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2017.01988.

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Natural, also referred to as spontaneous wine fermentations, are carried out by the native microbiota of the grape juice, without inoculation of selected, industrially produced yeast or bacterial strains. Such fermentations are commonly initiated by non-Saccharomyces yeast species that numerically dominate the must. Community composition and numerical dominance of species vary significantly between individual musts, but Saccharomyces cerevisiae will in most cases dominate the late stages of the fermentation and complete the process. Nevertheless, non-Saccharomyces species contribute significantly, positively or negatively, to the character and quality of the final product. The contribution is species and strain dependent and will depend on each species or strain’s absolute and relative contribution to total metabolically active biomass, and will therefore, be a function of its relative fitness within the microbial ecosystem. However, the population dynamics of multispecies fermentations are not well understood. Consequently, the oenological potential of the microbiome in any given grape must, can currently not be evaluated or predicted. To better characterize the rules that govern the complex wine microbial ecosystem, a model yeast consortium comprising eight species commonly encountered in South African grape musts and an ARISA based method to monitor their dynamics were developed and validated. The dynamics of these species were evaluated in synthetic must in the presence or absence of S. cerevisiae using direct viable counts and ARISA. The data show that S. cerevisiae specifically suppresses certain species while appearing to favor the persistence of other species. Growth dynamics in Chenin blanc grape must fermentation was monitored only through viable counts. The interactions observed in the synthetic must, were upheld in the natural must fermentations, suggesting the broad applicability of the observed ecosystem dynamics. Importantly, the presence of indigenous yeast populations did not appear to affect the broad interaction patterns between the consortium species. The data show that the wine ecosystem is characterized by both mutually supportive and inhibitory species. The current study presents a first step in the development of a model to predict the oenological potential of any given wine mycobiome.

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