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Diversity and oenological characterization of indigenous Saccharomyces cerevisiae associated with Žilavka grapes

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The aim of this research was to identify the Saccharomyces spp. associated with Žilavka grapes and to evaluate their enzymatic activities, H2S production and micro-fermentation performance. For this purpose, a total of 143 yeast strains isolated from three production areas of the Mostar wine region (Bosnia and Herzegovina) were studied and analysed. Firstly, yeasts were identified to genus level by growth on WL nutrient agar and the test of assimilation of lysine. Later, molecular identification at species level was carried out with RFLP analysis of 18S rDNA + ITS region, and at strain level with microsatellite-primed PCR (MSP-PCR). At physiological level yeast strains were grouped into different clusters by means of the Joining-Tree-Clustering-Method. All yeasts tested were identified as S. cerevisiae, resulting a total of 18 different strains. All of the investigated strains produced hydrogen sulphide, 89% were able to complete the fermentation, and none of them was able to synthesize killer toxins. Since enzymes play a very important role in wine aroma development, it was very encouraging that 33% of the strains were able to synthesize pectinolytic enzyme but only one produced β-glucosidase. In the second part of the selection process two indigenous strains were compared with commercial yeast in a microvinification and Žilavka wines with different profiles of volatiles were obtained. This research represents a first step in the selection of indigenous yeast strains from the Mostar region with the goal of maintaining the specific organoleptic characteristics of Žilavka wine.

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This work was funded by Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports (grant number 178-0580477-2130). FNAL thanks to the Ministry of Science and Innovation (Spain) for his “Juan de la Cierva” postdoctoral research contract.

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Correspondence to Sandi Orlić.

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Orlić, S., Vojvoda, T., Babić, K.H. et al. Diversity and oenological characterization of indigenous Saccharomyces cerevisiae associated with Žilavka grapes. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 26, 1483–1489 (2010).

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