Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 99, Issue 21, pp 9123–9134 | Cite as

Comparative phenomics and targeted use of genomics reveals variation in carbon and nitrogen assimilation among different Brettanomyces bruxellensis strains

  • S. Crauwels
  • A. Van Assche
  • R. de Jonge
  • A. R. Borneman
  • C. Verreth
  • P. Troels
  • G. De Samblanx
  • K. Marchal
  • Y. Van de Peer
  • K. A. Willems
  • K. J. Verstrepen
  • C. D. Curtin
  • B. LievensEmail author
Applied microbial and cell physiology


Recent studies have suggested a correlation between genotype groups of Brettanomyces bruxellensis and their source of isolation. To further explore this relationship, the objective of this study was to assess metabolic differences in carbon and nitrogen assimilation between different B. bruxellensis strains from three beverages, including beer, wine, and soft drink, using Biolog Phenotype Microarrays. While some similarities of physiology were noted, many traits were variable among strains. Interestingly, some phenotypes were found that could be linked to strain origin, especially for the assimilation of particular α- and β-glycosides as well as α- and β-substituted monosaccharides. Based upon gene presence or absence, an α-glucosidase and β-glucosidase were found explaining the observed phenotypes. Further, using a PCR screen on a large number of isolates, we have been able to specifically link a genomic deletion to the beer strains, suggesting that this region may have a fitness cost for B. bruxellensis in certain fermentation systems such as brewing. More specifically, none of the beer strains were found to contain a β-glucosidase, which may have direct impacts on the ability for these strains to compete with other microbes or on flavor production.


α-Glucosidase β-Glucosidase Biolog Dekkera bruxellensis Niche adaptation Phenotypic and genetic diversity 



We are grateful to everybody who provided us with Brettanomyces strains. Further, we are grateful to Sofie Malfliet for her help with compiling the tables.

Compliance with ethical standards

Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest/Research involving Human Participants and/or Animals/ Informed consent: not applicable for this study.

Supplementary material

253_2015_6769_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (685 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 684 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Crauwels
    • 1
  • A. Van Assche
    • 1
  • R. de Jonge
    • 2
  • A. R. Borneman
    • 3
  • C. Verreth
    • 1
  • P. Troels
    • 4
  • G. De Samblanx
    • 1
  • K. Marchal
    • 5
  • Y. Van de Peer
    • 2
  • K. A. Willems
    • 1
  • K. J. Verstrepen
    • 6
  • C. D. Curtin
    • 3
  • B. Lievens
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory for Process Microbial Ecology and Bioinspirational Management (PME&BIM)KU LeuvenSint-Katelijne WaverBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB and Department of Plant Biotechnology and BioinformaticsGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  3. 3.The Australian Wine Research InstituteAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.White LabsSan DiegoUSA
  5. 5.Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics and Department of Information Technology, IMindsGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  6. 6.VIB Lab for Systems Biology and Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics (CMPG) Lab for Genetics and GenomicsKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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