Selected Schizosaccharomyces pombe Strains Have Characteristics That Are Beneficial for Winemaking

PLoS One. 2016 Mar 23;11(3):e0151102. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151102. eCollection 2016.


At present, wine is generally produced using Saccharomyces yeast followed by Oenococus bacteria to complete malolactic fermentation. This method has some unsolved problems, such as the management of highly acidic musts and the production of potentially toxic products including biogenic amines and ethyl carbamate. Here we explore the potential of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe to solve these problems. We characterise an extensive worldwide collection of S. pombe strains according to classic biochemical parameters of oenological interest. We identify three genetically different S. pombe strains that appear suitable for winemaking. These strains compare favourably to standard Saccharomyces cerevisiae winemaking strains, in that they perform effective malic acid deacidification and significantly reduce levels of biogenic amines and ethyl carbamate precursors without the need for any secondary bacterial malolactic fermentation. These findings indicate that the use of certain S. pombe strains could be advantageous for winemaking in regions where malic acid is problematic, and these strains also show superior performance with respect to food safety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fermentation
  • Schizosaccharomyces / classification
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces / metabolism*
  • Species Specificity
  • Wine*