Characterization of early deaths of non-Saccharomycesyeasts in mixed cultures withSaccharomyces cerevisiae

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The survival of Kluyveromyces thermotolerans and Torulaspora delbrueckii in mixed cultures with Saccharomyces cerevisiae was examined at low oxygen availability in a defined grape juice medium. In these fermentations, K. thermotolerans and T. delbrueckii died off earlier than S. cerevisiae, and K. thermotolerans and T. delbrueckii exhibited parabolic death kinetics. Furthermore, the early deaths seemed to be non-apoptotic in nature. In order to understand the mechanism causing the early deaths, various single- and mixed-culture fermentations were carried out. The early deaths could not be explained by nutrient depletion or the presence of toxic compounds. Rather, they seemed to be mediated by a cell-to-cell contact mechanism at high cell densities of S. cerevisiae, and to a lesser ability of K. thermotolerans and T. delbrueckii to compete for space, as compared to S. cerevisiae. These results contribute to an increased understanding of why K. thermotolerans and T. delbrueckii die off before S. cerevisiae in wine fermentations.

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