2All-Russian National Research Institute of Viticulture and Winemaking “Magarach”, Russian Academy of Sciences, 298600 Yalta, Republic of Crimea, Russia
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received July 29, 2016; Revision received September 19, 2016
Saccharomyces yeasts have been used for millennia for the production of beer, wine, bread, and other fermented products. Long-term “unconscious” selection and domestication led to the selection of hundreds of strains with desired production traits having significant phenotypic and genetic differences from their wild ancestors. This review summarizes the results of recent research in deciphering the genomes of wine Saccharomyces strains, the use of comparative genomics methods to study the mechanisms of yeast genome evolution under conditions of artificial selection, and the use of genomic and postgenomic approaches to identify the molecular nature of the important characteristics of commercial wine strains of Saccharomyces. Succinctly, data concerning metagenomics of microbial communities of grapes and wine and the dynamics of yeast and bacterial flora in the course of winemaking is provided. A separate section is devoted to an overview of the physiological, genetic, and biochemical features of sherry yeast strains used to produce biologically aged wines. The goal of the review is to convince the reader of the efficacy of new genomic and postgenomic technologies as tools for developing strategies for targeted selection and creation of new strains using “classical” and modern techniques for improving winemaking technology.
KEY WORDS: wine, yeast strains, diversity, artificial selection, stress response, evolution, comparative genomics, metagenomics, microbial interactions, flor yeast, adhesion, aromatic compounds, gene regulation, strain improvement