Combined effect of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae lag phase and the non-Saccharomyces consortium to enhance wine fruitiness and complexity
Wine yeast starters that contain a mixture of different industrial yeasts with various properties may soon be introduced to the market. The mechanisms underlying the interactions between the different strains in the starter during alcoholic fermentation have never been investigated. We identified and investigated some of these interactions in a mixed culture containing two yeast strains grown under enological conditions. The inoculum contained the same amount (each) of a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and a natural hybrid strain of S. cerevisiae and Saccharomyces uvarum. We identified interactions that affected biomass, by-product formation, and fermentation kinetics, and compared the redox ratios of monocultures of each strain with that of the mixed culture. The redox status of the mixed culture differed from that of the two monocultures, showing that the interactions between the yeast strains involved the diffusion of metabolite(s) within the mixed culture. Since acetaldehyde is a potential effector of fermentation, we investigated the kinetics of acetaldehyde production by the different cultures. The S. cerevisiae-S. uvarum hybrid strain produced large amounts of acetaldehyde for which the S. cerevisiae strain acted as a receiving strain in the mixed culture. Since yeast response to acetaldehyde involves the same mechanisms that participate in the response to other forms of stress, the acetaldehyde exchange between the two strains could play an important role in inhibiting some yeast strains and allowing the growth of others. Such interactions could be of particular importance in understanding the ecology of the colonization of complex fermentation media by S. cerevisiae.