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Interspecies gene transfer in wine yeasts: a safe alternative to GMO technology

Matthias Sipiczki; Department of Genetics and Applied Microbiology, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary

From the many yeasts participating in vinification of grape must, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and S. uvarum play the most important roles.


 In natural wine yeast populations, chimeric („hybrid”) strains also occur whose genomes consist of mosaics from these two species and/or S. kudriavzevii. 


As demonstrated by Italian researchers and our team, wine strains of these species can be hybridised under laboratory conditions by sexual mating of their haploid cells, and the hybrids may have enological properties superior to both parents. 


The method developed allows the improvement of wine yeasts by transferring genes between the above species without the application of GMO techniques.    


The paper reproduced in this video-seminar was presented at the 2013 International SIVE Awards “Research for Development” (8th edition of Enoforum; 7-9 maggio 2013, Arezzo, Italy)





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Published on 01/21/2015
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