Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 107, Issue 4, pp 961–970 | Cite as

A novel killer protein from Pichia kluyveri isolated from an Algerian soil: purification and characterization of its in vitro activity against food and beverage spoilage yeasts

  • Fatima-Zohra Kenza LabbaniEmail author
  • Benedetta Turchetti
  • Leila Bennamoun
  • Scheherazad Dakhmouche
  • Rita Roberti
  • Lanfranco Corazzi
  • Zahia Meraihi
  • Pietro Buzzini
Original Paper


A novel killer protein (Pkkp) secreted by a Pichia kluyveri strain isolated from an Algerian soil was active against food and beverage spoilage yeasts of the genera Dekkera, Kluyveromyces, Pichia, Saccharomyces, Torulaspora, Wickerhamomyces and Zygosaccharomyces. After purification by gel filtration chromatography Pkkp revealed an apparent molecular mass of 54 kDa with SDS-PAGE. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of purified Pkkp exhibited a high in vitro activity against Dekkera bruxellensis (MICs from 64,000- to 256,000-fold lower than that exhibited by potassium metabisulphite) and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (MICs from 32,000- to 64,000- fold lower than potassium sorbate). No in vitro synergistic interactions (calculated by FIC index − Σ FIC) were observed when Pkkp was used in combination with potassium metabisulphite, potassium sorbate, or ethanol. Pkkp exhibited a dose–response effect against D. bruxellensis and S. cerevisiae in a low-alcoholic drink and fruit juice, respectively. The results of the present study suggest that Pkkp could be proposed as a novel food-grade compound useful for the control of food and beverage spoilage yeasts.


Yeast killer protein Pichia kluyveri Susceptibility testing Spoilage yeasts Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) 



The author Fatima-Zohra Kenza Labbani is deeply grateful to the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Algeria for the doctoral fellowship (PNE program).

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 7 (PDF 22 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fatima-Zohra Kenza Labbani
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Benedetta Turchetti
    • 3
  • Leila Bennamoun
    • 4
  • Scheherazad Dakhmouche
    • 4
  • Rita Roberti
    • 5
  • Lanfranco Corazzi
    • 5
  • Zahia Meraihi
    • 4
  • Pietro Buzzini
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Natural and Life Sciences FacultyAbbes Laghrour University of KhenchelaKhenchelaAlgeria
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryNatural and Life Sciences Faculty, University of Constantine 1ConstantineAlgeria
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Science & Industrial Yeasts Collection DBVPGUniversity of PerugiaPerugiaItaly
  4. 4.Department of Biochemistry, Natural and Life Sciences FacultyUniversity of Constantine 1ConstantineAlgeria
  5. 5.Department of Experimental MedicineUniversity of PerugiaPerugiaItaly

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