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From the vineyard to the cellar: new insights of Starmerella bacillaris (synonym Candida zemplinina) technological properties and genomic perspective


A large diversity of yeasts can be involved in alcoholic fermentation; however, Starmerella bacillaris strains have gained great attention due to their relevant and particular characteristics. S. bacillaris is commonly known as an osmotolerant, acidogenic, psychrotolerant, and fructophilic yeast. Most strains of this species are high producers of glycerol and show low ethanol production rates, being highlighted as promising alternatives to the manufacture of low-alcohol beverages. The increased production of high alcohols, such as benzyl alcohol that has antifungal and antibacterial properties, highlights S. bacillaris potential as a biocontrol agent. After harvest, antifungal yeasts become part of the must microbiota and may also improve the fermentation process. Moreover, during the fermentation, S. bacillaris releases important molecules with biotechnological properties, such as mannoproteins and glutathione. Considering the potential biotechnological properties of S. bacillaris strains, this review presents an overview of recent trends concerning the application of S. bacillaris in fermented beverages.

Key points

•S. bacillaris as an alternative to the production of low-alcohol beverages.

•S. bacillaris strains present biocontrol potential.

•Molecules released by S. bacillaris may be of great biotechnological interest.

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General writing of the manuscript: V.S.O. and W.J.F.L.J. Investigation, literature search, and data analysis: V.S.O, W.J.F.L.J., and A.F.G. Supervision: A.G. and V.C. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Wilson José Fernandes Lemos Junior.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Lemos Junior, W.J.F., de Oliveira, V.S., Guerra, A.F. et al. From the vineyard to the cellar: new insights of Starmerella bacillaris (synonym Candida zemplinina) technological properties and genomic perspective. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 105, 493–501 (2021).

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  • Non-conventional yeast
  • Fermentation
  • Biocontrol
  • Winemaking
  • Low alcohol