Current Genetics

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 149–164 | Cite as

Identifying and assessing the impact of wine acid-related genes in yeast

  • Boredi S. Chidi
  • Debra Rossouw
  • Florian F. BauerEmail author
Research Article


Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains used for winemaking show a wide range of fermentation phenotypes, and the genetic background of individual strains contributes significantly to the organoleptic properties of wine. This strain-dependent impact extends to the organic acid composition of the wine, an important quality parameter. However, little is known about the genes which may impact on organic acids during grape must fermentation. To generate novel insights into the genetic regulation of this metabolic network, a subset of genes was identified based on a comparative analysis of the transcriptomes and organic acid profiles of different yeast strains showing different production levels of organic acids. These genes showed significant inter-strain differences in their transcription levels at one or more stages of fermentation and were also considered likely to influence organic acid metabolism based on existing functional annotations. Genes selected in this manner were ADH3, AAD6, SER33, ICL1, GLY1, SFC1, SER1, KGD1, AGX1, OSM1 and GPD2. Yeast strains carrying deletions for these genes were used to conduct fermentations and determine organic acid levels at various stages of alcoholic fermentation in synthetic grape must. The impact of these deletions on organic acid profiles was quantified, leading to novel insights and hypothesis generation regarding the role/s of these genes in wine yeast acid metabolism under fermentative conditions. Overall, the data contribute to our understanding of the roles of selected genes in yeast metabolism in general and of organic acid metabolism in particular.


Wine Yeast Transcriptomics Organic acids 



We thank Stellenbosch University for research facilities. The SARChI grant from the National Research Foundation and Winetech are thanked for the financial support.

Supplementary material

294_2015_498_MOESM1_ESM.docx (339 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 338 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boredi S. Chidi
    • 1
  • Debra Rossouw
    • 1
  • Florian F. Bauer
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Oenology and Viticulture, Private Bag X1, Institute for Wine BiotechnologyStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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