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Mitotic recombination and genetic changes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae during wine fermentation

AuthorsPuig, Sergi ; Querol, Amparo ; Barrio, Eladio ; Pérez Ortín, José E.
KeywordsMitotic recombination
wine fermentation
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Issue DateMay-2000
PublisherAmerican Society for Microbiology
CitationApplied and Environmental Microbiology 66 (5) : 2057-2061 (2000)
AbstractNatural strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae are prototrophic homothallic yeasts that sporulate poorly, are often heterozygous, and may be aneuploid. This genomic constitution may confer selective advantages in some environments. Different mechanisms of recombination, such as meiosis or mitotic rearrangement of chromosomes, have been proposed for wine strains. We studied the stability of the URA3 locus of a URA3/ura3 wine yeast in consecutive grape must fermentations. ura3/ura3 homozygotes were detected at a rate of 1 x 10(-5) to 3 x 10(-5) per generation, and mitotic rearrangements for chromosomes VIII and XII appeared after 30 mitotic divisions. We used the karyotype as a meiotic marker and determined that sporulation was not involved in this process. Thus, we propose a hypothesis for the genome changes in wine yeasts during vinification. This putative mechanism involves mitotic recombination between homologous sequences and does not necessarily imply meiosis.
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