Yeast Population Dynamics in Spontaneous and Inoculated Alcoholic Fermentations of Zametovka Must

Peter Raspor1*, Franc Cus1,2, Katja Povhe Jemec1, Tatjana Zagorc1, Neza Cadez1 and Julij Nemanic3

University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Food Science and Technology Department, Chair of Biotechnology, Jamnikarjeva 101, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

2University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Agronomy Department, Chair of Viticulture, Jamnikarjeva 101, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
3Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Hacquetova 17, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Article history:

Received December 14, 2001
Accepted April 10, 2002

Key words:

wine yeasts, red grape must fermentation, population dynamics, PFGE, PCR – RFLP of rDNA


Inoculated fermentations, which are more rapid and more reliable than spontaneous fermentations, and assure predictable wine quality, are nowadays prevalent in Slovenia’s large-scale wine production. However, spontaneous fermentation strengthens local characteristics of wine and offers opportunities for technological innovation. In the 1999 vintage, spontaneous and inoculated fermentations of Zametovka (Vitis vinifera) grape must were studied. Zametovka is the main red variety in production of traditional Slovene red blend wine, Cvicek. The diversity of yeast species and strains in both of the investigated fermentations was determined by molecular and traditional identification methods. The outset of alcoholic fermentation, yeast growth kinetics, and yeast population dynamics presents the main differences between the examined fermentations. Yeast population diversity was higher in the spontaneous process. Dominant yeast isolates from spontaneous fermentation were identified as Candida stellata, Hanseniaspora uvarum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae; whereas Saccharomyces bayanus, Pichia kluyveri, Pichia membranifaciens and Torulaspora delbrueckii were found less frequently. Dominant species in the inoculated fermentation was Saccharomyces cerevisiae; other species found in smaller numbers were Candida stellata, Hanseniaspora uvarum and Debaryomyces hansenii var. hansenii. Using PFGE, we were able to distinguish among 15 different Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains and three different Saccharomyces bayanus strains isolated from spontaneous fermentation, whereas, in the case of inoculated fermentation, only two Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains were found. Their chromosomal patterns coincide with the chromosomal patterns of the starter culture strains.

*Corresponding author:
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