Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 68, Issue 2, pp 266–271 | Cite as

Fine measurement of ergosterol requirements for growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae during alcoholic fermentation

  • Christelle Deytieux
  • Ludivine Mussard
  • Marie-José Biron
  • Jean-Michel SalmonEmail author
Applied Microbial and Cell Physiology


Yeasts can incorporate a wide variety of exogenous sterols under strict anaerobiosis. Yeasts normally require oxygen for growth when exogenous sterols are limiting, as this favours the synthesis of lipids (sterols and unsaturated fatty acids). Although much is known about the oxygen requirements of yeasts during anaerobic growth, little is known about their exact sterol requirements in such conditions. We developed a method to determine the amount of ergosterol required for the growth of several yeast strains. We found that pre-cultured yeast strains all contained similar amounts of stored sterols, but exhibited different ergosterol assimilation efficiencies in enological conditions [as measured by the ergosterol concentration required to sustain half the number of generations attributed to ergosterol assimilation (P50)]. P50 was correlated with the intensity of sterol synthesis. Active dry yeasts (ADYs) contained less stored sterols than their pre-cultured counterparts and displayed very different ergosterol assimilation efficiencies. We showed that five different batches of the same industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae ADY exhibited significantly different ergosterol requirements for growth. These differences were mainly attributed to differences in initial sterol reserves. The method described here can therefore be used to quantify indirectly the sterol synthesis abilities of yeast strains and to estimate the size of sterol reserves.


Yeast Strain Ergosterol Phytosterol Oxygen Consumption Rate Terbinafine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



C. Deytieux and L. Mussard received financial assistance from INRA. Lallemand (Montreal, Canada) is thanked for providing the industrial yeast strains used in this study and J. P. Lepoutre is thanked for his valuable help with the mass spectrometry.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christelle Deytieux
    • 1
  • Ludivine Mussard
    • 1
  • Marie-José Biron
    • 1
  • Jean-Michel Salmon
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Equipe Microbiologie et de Technologie des Fermentations, UMR 1083 Sciences pour l′ŒnologieInstitut National de la Recherche AgronomiqueMontpellier Cedex 1France

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