Inventory and monitoring of wine microbial consortia

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2007 May;75(1):149-64. doi: 10.1007/s00253-006-0798-3. Epub 2007 Jan 19.


The evolution of the wine microbial ecosystem is generally restricted to Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Oenococcus oeni, which are the two main agents in the transformation of grape must into wine by acting during alcoholic and malolactic fermentation, respectively. But others species like the yeast Brettanomyces bruxellensis and certain ropy strains of Pediococcus parvulus can spoil the wine. The aim of this study was to address the composition of the system more precisely, identifying other components. The advantages of the polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) approach to wine microbial ecology studies are illustrated by bacteria and yeast species identification and their monitoring at each stage of wine production. After direct DNA extraction, PCR-DGGE was used to make the most exhaustive possible inventory of bacteria and yeast species found in a wine environment. Phylogenetic neighbor-joining trees were built to illustrate microbial diversity. PCR-DGGE was also combined with population enumeration in selective media to monitor microbial changes at all stages of production. Moreover, enrichment media helped to detect the appearance of spoilage species. The genetic diversity of the wine microbial community and its dynamics during winemaking were also described. Most importantly, our study provides a better understanding of the complexity and diversity of the wine microbial consortium at all stages of the winemaking process: on grape berries, in must during fermentation, and in wine during aging. On grapes, 52 different yeast species and 40 bacteria could be identified. The diversity was dramatically reduced during winemaking then during aging. Yeast and lactic acid bacteria were also isolated from very old vintages. B. bruxellensis and O. oeni were the most frequent.

MeSH terms

  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Culture Media
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • DNA, Bacterial / isolation & purification
  • DNA, Fungal / analysis
  • DNA, Fungal / isolation & purification
  • Ecosystem
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Fermentation
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / classification
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / genetics
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / growth & development
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / classification
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / genetics
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / growth & development
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Industrial Microbiology / methods
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Vitis / microbiology
  • Wine / microbiology*
  • Yeasts / classification
  • Yeasts / genetics
  • Yeasts / growth & development
  • Yeasts / isolation & purification*


  • Culture Media
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Fungal