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Yeasts isolated from New Zealand vineyards and wineries

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Abstract Background and Aims: 

The yeast flora from a range of New Zealand commercial wineries was surveyed to estimate the incidence of yeast species in grape juice. Methods and Results: 

Molecular analysis of the internal transcribed spacer region was performed for 1279 yeast colonies isolated from 17 different fresh grape juices sampled in eight New Zealand wineries between 2003 and 2009. The 17 juices contained at least 25 different species of yeast from nine genera. Microsatellite fingerprinting of Saccharomyces cerevisiae showed that some strains were identical to known commercial yeast varieties, but we also found evidence for local populations of S. cerevisiae common to individual wineries or regions. Five genotypes from Central Otago, New Zealand, were very closely related to a single sequenced strain derived from Chile, which in turn is related to European wine isolates. Conclusions: 

The yeast flora found in New Zealand grape juices is broadly similar to that found in wineries elsewhere around the world. Genotyping of S. cerevisiae suggests recent dispersal of both commercial and non-commercial yeast strains from Europe to New Zealand. Significance of the Study: 

These data are consistent with two human-mediated modes for the international dispersal of S. cerevisiae: one via the escape of strains traded commercially, and another via long distance dispersal of non-commercial strains.

Keywords: Saccharomyces cerevisiae; internal transcribed spacer (ITS); microsatellite; winery; yeast

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Wine Science Programme, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand

Publication date: October 1, 2010


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