• The role of Stl1p in glycerol accumulation in osmotically stressed icewine yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae K1 V1116

      Sauday, Shiri; Centre for Biotechnology (Brock University, 2010-10-27)
      The high sugar concentration in Icewine juice exerts hyperosmotic stress in the wine yeast causing water loss and cell shrinkage. To counteract the dehydration, yeast synthesize and accumulate glycerol as an internal osmolyte. In a laboratory strain of S. cerevisiae, STLl encodes for Stllp, an H+ /glycerol symporter that is glucose inactivated, but induced upon hyperosmotic stress. STLl, was found to be a highly upregulated gene in Icewine fermenting cells and its expression was 25-fold greater than in yeast cells fermenting diluted Icewine juice, making it one of the most differentially expressed genes between the two fermentation conditions. In addition, Icewine fermenting cells showed a two-fold higher glycerol production in the wine compared to yeast fermenting diluted Icewine juice. We proposed that Stllp is (1) active during Icewine fermentation and is not glucose inactivated and (2) its activity contributes to the limited cell growth observed during Icewine fermentation as a result of the dissipation of the plasma membrane proton gradient. To measure the contribution ofStl1p in active glycerol transport (energy dependent) during Icewine fermentation, we first developed an Stllp-dependent (14C]glycerol uptake assay using a laboratory strain of S. cerevisiae (BY 4742 and LiSTLl) that was dependent on the plasma membrane proton gradient and therefore energy-dependent. Wine yeast K1-Vll16 was also shown to have this energy dependent glycerol uptake induced under salt stress. The expression of STLl and Stllp activity were compared between yeast cells harvested from Icewine and diluted Icewine fermentations. Northern blot analysis revealed that STLl was expressed in cells fermenting Icewine juice but not expressed under the diluted juice conditions. Glycerol uptake by cells fermenting Icewine juice was not significantly different than cells fermenting diluted Icewine juice on day 4 and day 7 of Vidal and Riesling fermentations respectively, despite encountering greater hyperosmotic stress. Furthermore, energy- dependent glycerol uptake was not detected under either fermentation conditions. Because our findings show that active glycerol uptake was not detected in yeast cells harvested from Icewine fermentation, it is likely that Stllp was glucose inactivated despite the hyperosmotic stress induced by the Icewine juice and therefore did not play a role in active glycerol uptake during Icewine fermentation.
    • Study of new yeast strains as novel starter cultures for Riesling icewine production

      Yang, Fei; Centre for Biotechnology (Brock University, 2011-10-14)
      Icewine is a sweet dessert wine fermented from the juice of grapes naturally frozen on the vine. The production of Icewine faces many challenges such as sluggish fermentation, which often yields wines with low ethanol, and an accumulation of high concentration of volatile acidity, mainly in the form of acetic acid. This project investigated three new yeast strains as novel starter cultures for Icewine fermentation with particular emphasis on reducing acetic acid production: a naturally occurring strain of S. bayanus/S. pastorianus isolated from Icewine grapes, and two hybrids between S. cerevisiae and S. bayanus, AWRI 1571 and AWRI 1572. These strains were evaluated for sugar consumption patterns and metabolic production of ethanol, glycerol and acetic acid, and were compared to the performance of a standard commercial wine yeast KI-VI116. The ITS rONA region of the two A WRI crosses was also analyzed during fermentations to assess their genomic stability. Icewine fermentations were performed in sterile filtered juice, in the absence of indigenous microflora, and also in unfiltered juice in order to mirror commercial wine making practices. The hybrid A WRI 1572 was found to be a promising candidate as a novel starter culture for Icewine production. I t produced 10.3 % v/v of ethanol in sterile Riesling Icewine fermentations and 11.2 % v/v in the unfiltered ones within a reasonable fermentation time (39 days). Its acetic acid production per gram sugar consumed was approximately 30% lower in comparison with commercial wine yeast K I -V 1116 under both sterile filtered and unfiltered fermentations. The natural isolate S. bayanus/S. pastorianus and AWRI 1571 did not appear to be suitable for commercial Icewine production. They reached the target ethanol concentration of approximately 10 % v/v in 39 day fermentations and also produced less acetic acid as a function of both time and sugar consumed in sterile fermentations compared to KI-V1116. However, in unfiltered fermentations, both of them failed to produce the target concentration of ethanol and accumulated high concentration of acetic acid. Both A WRI crosses displayed higher loss of or reduced copies in ITS rDNA region from the S. bayanus parent compared to the S. cerevisiae parent; however, these genomic losses could not be related to the metabolic profile.