, 14:93 | Cite as

Metabolic footprint analysis of metabolites that discriminate single and mixed yeast cultures at two key time-points during mixed culture alcoholic fermentations

  • Chuantao Peng
  • Tiago Viana
  • Mikael Agerlin Petersen
  • Flemming Hofmann Larsen
  • Nils ArneborgEmail author
Original Article



There has been a growing interest towards creating defined mixed starter cultures for alcoholic fermentations. Previously, metabolite differences between single and mixed cultures have been explored at the endpoint of fermentations rather than during fermentations.


To create metabolic footprints of metabolites that discriminate single and mixed yeast cultures at two key time-points during mixed culture alcoholic fermentations.


1H NMR- and GC–MS-based metabolomics was used to identify metabolites that discriminate single and mixed cultures of Lachancea thermotolerans (LT) and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (SC) during alcoholic fermentations.


Twenty-two metabolites were found when comparing single LT and mixed cultures, including both non-volatiles (carbohydrate, amino acid and acids) and volatiles (higher alcohols, esters, ketones and aldehydes). Fifteen of these compounds were discriminatory only at the death phase initiation (T1) and fifteen were discriminatory only at the death phase termination (T2) of LT in mixed cultures. Eight metabolites were discriminatory at both T1 and T2. These results indicate that specific metabolic changes may be descriptive of different LT growth behaviors. Fifteen discriminatory metabolites were found when comparing single SC and mixed cultures. These metabolites were all volatiles, and twelve metabolites were discriminatory only at T2, indicating that LT-induced changes in volatiles occur during the death phase of LT in mixed cultures and not during their initial growth stage.


This work provides a detailed insight into yeast metabolites that differ between single and mixed cultures, and these data may be used for understanding and eventually predicting yeast metabolic changes in wine fermentations.


Single and mixed cultures Yeast growth behaviors Metabolic footprints Metabolomics Alcoholic fermentations 



The authors would like to thank Janne Margrethe Benjaminsen for excellent technical assistance.

Author contributions

NA, CP and TV conceived and designed research. CP conducted experiments. MAP and FHL contributed new reagents and analytical tools. CP and FHL analyzed data. CP and NA wrote the manuscript. All authors read, revised and approved the manuscript.


This study was funded by Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen and Chinese Scholarship Council (201406300048).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Chuantao Peng, Tiago Viana, Mikael Agerlin Petersen, Flemming Hofmann Larsen and Nils Arneborg declares that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

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

Supplementary material

11306_2018_1391_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2 mb)
Supplementary material (DOCX 2030 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food ScienceUniversity of CopenhagenFrederiksberg CDenmark
  2. 2.Chr.Hansen A/SHørsholmDenmark

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