Annals of Microbiology

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 483–491 | Cite as

Wickerhamomyces anomalus AS1: a new strain with potential to improve wine aroma

  • Andrea Sabel
  • Stefan Martens
  • Anna Petri
  • Helmut König
  • Harald ClausEmail author
Original Article


The monoterpenes are the most important contribution to the olfactory profile of wine due to their low odour threshold. These and other aroma-active substances do not generally exist in a free form but are conjugated to mono- or disaccharides, thereby forming water-soluble and odourless complexes. Enzymes that cleave the sugar moieties from the precursors can, therefore, have a major impact on the sensory profile of wine, as they release the volatile aroma compounds. For this reason, we searched for wine yeasts producing glycosidases which are active under oenological conditions. A collection of 100 wine yeasts were screened for glycosidase activities in whole cells and in culture supernatants. Kinetic parameters were determined spectrophotometrically with synthetic model substrates, and hydrolysis of natural glycosides was detected by thin-layer chromatography. A yeast isolate, AS1, was identified as a new Wickerhamomyces anomalus strain which hydrolysed a number of synthetic and natural glycosides under oenological conditions. Citronellol- and nerol-glucosides, among the most frequently occurring aroma precursors in wine, were also cleaved. In contrast to a commercial β-glucosidase, whole cells of W. anomalus AS1 catalysed deglycosylation of arbutin and salicin directly in a white and a red wine. Besides the formation of intra- and extracellular glucoside hydrolases, strain AS1 exhibited arabinosidase and xylosidase activities which are also essential for the release of flavour compounds. Even with limited functionality at oenological conditions, the glycoside hydrolase activities of W. anomalus AS1 may improve aroma development, provided that the reaction occurs over a longer period, as it is the case during wine-making.


Monoterpenes Glycoside hydrolases Simultaneous fermentations Aroma Wine yeast 



The authors thank Martina Schlander and Armin Gneipel (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz) for their valuable contributions to this study. The research was partially supported by the ADP 2010–2012 project funded by the Autonomous Province of Trento (Stefan Martens) and by the German Science Foundation (Helmut König, DFG K0785/17-1).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and the University of Milan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Sabel
    • 1
  • Stefan Martens
    • 2
  • Anna Petri
    • 1
  • Helmut König
    • 1
  • Harald Claus
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute for Microbiology and Wine ResearchJohannes Gutenberg University of MainzMainzGermany
  2. 2.Fondazione Edmund Mach, Centro Ricerca e Innovazione, Dipartimento Qualita’ Alimentare e Nutrizone, Biotecnologia dei Prodotti NaturaliInstituto Agrario di San Michele all’Adige (IASMA)San Michele all’AdigeItaly

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