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Prospection of indigenous yeasts from Uruguayan Tannat vineyards for oenological applications


Prospection of yeasts from oenological environments can provide knowledge of new native strains that are capable of fermenting must and positively influence the composition and sensory characteristics of the wine. This work addressed the biotechnological characterization of indigenous yeasts of Tannat must, an emblematic and widespread vineyard of Uruguay. Fifty-three yeast isolates were morphologically characterized and further identified by amplification and sequencing of ITS and D1-D2 regions, grouping into a total of fifteen species. One isolate of each species was randomly chosen and evaluated for its technological traits. In presence of ethanol (6 to 16% v/v) and sulfur dioxide (40 mg/L), native Saccharomyces cerevisiae 3FS presented the best growth rates and minor lag phase. Regarding non-Saccharomyces strains, Starmerella bacillaris 3MS stood out for its behavior in vinification conditions, more closely related to S. cerevisiae strains. Saccharomyces cerevisiae 3FS, Starmerella bacillaris 3MS, and Saturnispora diversa 1FS conducted a successful fermentation process reaching a final ethanol concentration ≥ 10% v/v and presenting a killer and resistant phenotype, suggesting that they could be used as pure starter cultures, as well as in mixed culture fermentations. This preliminary screening and oenological characterization of indigenous Saccharomyces cerevisiae and non-Saccharomyces yeasts might be a useful tool to identify some strains as potential candidates for wine vinification.

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The authors thank the laboratory of Mycology and Biochemistry of Facultad de Ciencias of the Universidad de la República for access to their equipment. We thank Anaclara Cabrera Varela for her technical support in editing the figures.


This study was funded by AGROLAND S.A. Company.

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Guillermo Morera: performed research, analyzed data, wrote the paper.

Stefani de Ovalle: performed research, analyzed data, wrote the paper.

Paula Gonzalez-Pombo: conceived of or designed study, project administration, analyzed data, supervision, wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to Paula González-Pombo.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Morera, G., de Ovalle, S. & González-Pombo, P. Prospection of indigenous yeasts from Uruguayan Tannat vineyards for oenological applications. Int Microbiol (2022).

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  • Non-Saccharomyces
  • Native yeasts
  • Strain characterization
  • Tannat grapes
  • Wine
  • Fermentation