, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 211-218
Date: 13 Nov 2008

Polymorphisms of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Genes Involved in Wine Production

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The setting up of new molecular methods for Saccharomyces cerevisiae typing is valuable in enology. Actually, the ability to discriminate different strains in wine making can have a benefit both for the control of the fermentation process and for the preservation of wine typicity. This study focused on the screening of single-nucleotide polymorphisms in genes involved in wine production that could evolve rapidly considering the selective pressure of the isolation environment. Preliminary screening of 30 genes in silico was performed, followed by the selection of 10 loci belonging to 8 genes. The sequence analysis showed a low polymorphism and a degree of heterozygosity. However, a new potential molecular target was recognized in the TPS1 gene coding for the trehalose-6-phosphate synthase enzyme involved in the ethanol resistance mechanism. This gene showed a 1.42% sequence diversity with seven different nucleotide substitutions. Moreover, classic techniques were applied to a collection of 50 S. cerevisiae isolates, mostly with enologic origin. Our results confirmed that the wine making was not carried out only by the inoculated commercial starter because indigenous strains of S. cerevisiae present during fermentation were detected. In addition, a high genetic relationship among some commercial cultures was found, highlighting imprecision or fraudulent practices by starter manufacturers.