Induction of autophagy by second-fermentation yeasts during elaboration of sparkling wines

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Eduardo Cebollero, Ramon Gonzalez


Autophagy is a transport system mediated by vesicles, ubiquitous in eukaryotic cells, by which bulk cytoplasm is targeted to a lysosome or vacuole for degradation. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, autophagy is triggered by nutritional stress conditions (e.g., carbon- or nitrogen-depleted medium). In this study we showed that there is induction of autophagy in second-fermentation yeasts during sparkling wine making. Two methods were employed to detect autophagy: a biochemical approach based on depletion of the protein acetaldehyde dehydrogenase Ald6p and a morphological strategy consisting of visualization of autophagic bodies and autophagosomes, which are intermediate vesicles in the autophagic process, by transmission electron microscopy. This study provides the first demonstration of autophagy in second-fermentation yeasts under enological conditions. The correlation between autophagy and yeast autolysis during sparkling wine production is discussed, and genetic engineering of autophagy-related genes in order to accelerate the aging steps in wine making is proposed.


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