Exploring the potential ofSaccharomyces eubayanusas a parent for new interspecies hybrid strains in winemaking

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Yeast cryotolerance brings some advantages for wine fermentations, including the improved aromatic complexity of white wines. Naturally cold-tolerant strains are generally less adept at wine fermentation but fermentative fitness can potentially be improved through hybridization. Here we studied the potential of using hybrids involving Saccharomyces eubayanus and a S. cerevisiae wine strain for low-temperature winemaking. Through screening the performance in response to variable concentrations of sugar, nitrogen and temperature, we isolated one hybrid strain that exhibited the superior performance. This hybrid strain was propagated and dried in pilot scale and tested for the fermentation of Macabeu and Sauvignon blanc grape musts. We obtained highly viable active dry yeast, which was able to efficiently ferment the grape musts with superior production of aroma active volatiles, in particular, 2-phenylethanol. The genome sequences of the hybrid strains revealed variable chromosome inheritance among hybrids, particularly within the S. cerevisiae subgenome. With the present paper, we expand the knowledge on the potentialities of using S. eubayanus hybrids in industrial fermentation at beverages other than lager beer.

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