Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 12, pp 4917–4929 | Cite as

Identification by comparative transcriptomics of core regulatory genes for higher alcohol production in a top-fermenting yeast at different temperatures in beer fermentation

  • Zhong-Guan Sun
  • Meng-Qi Wang
  • Ya-Ping Wang
  • Shuang Xing
  • Kun-Qiang Hong
  • Ye-Fu Chen
  • Xue-Wu GuoEmail author
  • Dong-Guang XiaoEmail author
Genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics


Undesirable flavor caused by excessive higher alcohols restrains the development of the wheat beer industry. To clarify the regulation mechanism of the metabolism of higher alcohols in wheat beer brewing by the top-fermenting yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae S17, the effect of temperature on the fermentation performance and transcriptional levels of relevant genes was investigated. The strain S17 produced 297.85 mg/L of higher alcohols at 20 °C, and the production did not increase at 25 °C, reaching about 297.43 mg/L. Metabolite analysis and transcriptome sequencing showed that the metabolic pathways of branched-chain amino acids, pyruvate, phenylalanine, and proline were the decisive factors that affected the formation of higher alcohols. Fourteen most promising genes were selected to evaluate the effects of single-gene deletions on the synthesis of higher alcohols. The total production of higher alcohols by the mutants Δtir1 and Δgap1 was reduced by 23.5 and 19.66% compared with the parent strain S17, respectively. The results confirmed that TIR1 and GAP1 are crucial regulatory genes in the metabolism of higher alcohols in the top-fermenting yeast. This study provides valuable knowledge on the metabolic pathways of higher alcohols and new strategies for reducing the amounts of higher alcohols in wheat beer.


Saccharomyces cerevisiae Top-fermenting Wheat beer Higher alcohol Transcriptome Temperature 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31771969), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016YFD0400505), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2017M611169), the Hebei Province Postdoctoral Research Projects (No. B2018003031) and the Public Service Platform Project for Selection and Fermentation Technology of Industrial Microorganisms (No. 17PTGCCX00190).

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical statement

This manuscript is in compliance with ethical standards. This manuscript does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

253_2019_9807_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (213 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 212 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhong-Guan Sun
    • 1
    • 2
  • Meng-Qi Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ya-Ping Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shuang Xing
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kun-Qiang Hong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ye-Fu Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xue-Wu Guo
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Dong-Guang Xiao
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Industrial Fermentation Microbiology, Ministry of Education, Tianjin Industrial Microbiology Key Lab, College of BiotechnologyTianjin University of Science and TechnologyTianjinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Tianjin Engineering Research Center of Microbial Metabolism and Fermentation Process ControlTianjin University of Science and TechnologyTianjinPeople’s Republic of China

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