A quick screening method to identify β-glucosidase activity in native wine yeast strains: application of Esculin Glycerol Agar (EGA) medium
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- Pérez, G., Fariña, L., Barquet, M. et al. World J Microbiol Biotechnol (2011) 27: 47. doi:10.1007/s11274-010-0425-4
One hundred and fifty-four yeast strains were isolated from grapes and musts of Uruguayan vineyards and wineries. Only thirty strains showed β-glucosidase activity in Esculin Glycerol Agar (EGA) solid medium. Twenty-one were non-Saccharomyces and nine were Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains. The objective of this study was to evaluate the suitability of Esculin Glycerol Agar (EGA) solid medium for screening β-glucosidase activity in native yeasts strains. Halo sizes measured in the EGA solid medium were correlated to the Glycosyl-Glucose (GG) indexes measured after fermentation of grape musts with each strain. The two S. cerevisiae strains with the best performance were selected for further fermentations on a Muscat Miel grape must, rich in bound monoterpenes. The levels of free linalool, hodiol I and geraniol increased significantly as compared to fermentation with a commercial wine yeast strain. These results show the suitability of this simple and economic medium to identify S. cerevisiae glucosidase producers with a potential impact on real winemaking conditions. On the other hand, great variability was found for the non-Saccharomyces strains, and this would demand further studies for each species. In conclusion, the use of EGA solid medium shows that the screening method is suitable for exploring the glucosidase activity of native strains of S. cerevisiae and shows good correlation with its real impact on free aroma compounds in the final wine.