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Deletion of BCY1 from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Genome Is Semidominant and Induces Autolytic Phenotypes Suitable for Improvement of Sparkling Wines

  • Laura Tabera
  • Rosario Muñoz
  • Ramon Gonzalez
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2006
  • Biology
  • Engineering


Autolysis of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the main source of molecules that contribute to the quality of sparkling wines made by the traditional method. In this work the possibility of accelerating this slow process in order to improve the quality of sparkling wines by using genetically engineered wine yeast strains was explored. The effect of partial or total deletion of BCY1 (which encodes a regulatory subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase A) in haploid and diploid (heterozygous and homozygous) yeast strains was studied. We proved that heterozygous strains having partial or complete BCY1 deletions have a semidominant phenotype for several of the properties studied, including autolysis under simulated second-fermentation conditions, in contrast to previously published reports describing mutations in BCY1 as recessive. Considering the degree of autolysis, ethanol tolerance, and technical feasibility, we propose that deletion of the 3′ end of the open reading frame of a single copy of BCY1 is a way to improve the quality of sparkling wines.

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