The Value of Long-Chain Fatty Acid Analysis, Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA and Electrophoretic Karyotyping for the Characterization of Wine Yeast Strains

  • T.J. van der Westhuizen ARC-Fruit, Vine and Wine Research Institute, Nietvoorbij Centre for Vine and Wine, Private Bag X5026, 7599 Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • O.P.H. Augustyn ARC-Fruit, Vine and Wine Research Institute, Nietvoorbij Centre for Vine and Wine, Private Bag X5026, 7599 Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • I.S. Pretorius Institute for Wine Biotechnology and Department of Viticulture & Oenology, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag Xl, 7602 Matieland (Stellenbosch), South Africa

Abstract

Wine yeast strains of Saccharomyces had previously been classified into several different species or varieties. This classification system was based mainly on sugar fermentation and assimilation patterns. Subsequently, most of these species were reclassified as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The assignment of the majority of wine yeast strains to a single species does, however, not imply that all stains of S. cerevisiae are equally suitable for wine fermentation.  These physiological strains of S. cerevisiae differ significantly in their fermentation performance and their ability to contribute to the final bouquet and quality of the various types of wine and distillates.  Therefore, to ensure strain authenticity, security and proper strain management, it is of cardinal importance to have reliable taxonomic techniques available to identify and characterize individual strains of commercial cultures. In this study, 18 commercial wine yeast strains were characterized in order to evaluate and compare three taxonomic techniques, namely long-chain fatty acid analysis, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and electrophoretic karyotyping. As a single identification technique, electrophoretic karyotyping seems to be the most useful method for routine fingerprinting of wine yeast strains. However, we propose that the combined use of these three techniques provides the most reliable means of differentiating amongst commercial wine yeast strains.
Published
2017-05-04
Section
Articles