Optimisation of the randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique as a tool for identification of commercial wine yeast strains

Project Number
WW 10-10

Project title
Optimisation of the randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique as a tool for identification of commercial wine yeast strains

Project leader
Jolly, N P

Team members
Van der Westhuizen, T J
Augustyn, O P H
Pretorius, I S

Project description
Wine yeast strains of Saccharomyces had previously been classified into several different species or varieties. This classification system was based mainly on sugar fermentation and assimilation patterns. Subsequently, most of these species were reclassified as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The assignment of the majority of wine yeast strains to a single species does, however, not imply that all strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae are equally suitable for wine fermentation. These physiological strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae differ significantly in their fermentation performances and their ability to contribute to the final bouquet and quality of the various types of wine and distillates. Therefore, to ensure strain authenticity, security and proper strain management, it is of cardinal importance to have reliable taxonomic techniques available to identify and characterize individual strains of commercial cultures.

In this study, 18 commercial wine yeast strains were characterised in order to evaluate and compare three taxonomic techniques, namely long-chain fatty acid analysis, randomly amplified polumorphic DNA (RAPD) and electrophoretic karyotyping. As a single identification technique, electrophoretic karyotyping seems to be the most useful method for routine fingerprinting of wine yeast strains. However, we propose that the combined use of these three techniques provides the most reliable means of differentiating amongs commercial wine yeast strains.

Article
Van der Westhuizen, T J, Augustyn, O P H, Pretorius, I S. 1999. The value of long-chain fatty acid analysis, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA and electrophoretic karyotyping for the characterisation of wine yeast strains, South African Journal of Enology and Viticulture, v. 20 (1) (p. 3-10)

Note
The article published in the South African Journal of Enology and Viticulture serves as a Final Report.

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