Francesco Mezzetti, Justin C. Fay, Paolo Giudici, Luciana De Vero

July 6, 2017

Glutathione (GSH) production during wine fermentation is a desirable trait as it can limit must and wine oxidation and protect various aromatic compounds. UMCC 2581 is a Saccharomyces cerevisiae wine strain with enhanced GSH content at the end of wine fermentation. This strain was previously derived by selection for molybdate resistance following a sexual cycle of UMCC 855 using an evolution-based strategy. In this study, we examined genetic and gene expression changes associated with the derivation of UMCC 2581. For genetic analysis we sporulated the diploid UMCC 855 parental strain and found four phenotype classes of segregants related to molybdate resistance, demonstrating the presence of segregating variation from the parental strain. Using bulk segregant analysis we mapped molybdate traits to two loci. By sequencing both the parental and evolved strain genomes we identified candidate mutations within the two regions as well as an extra copy of chromosome 1 in UMCC 2581. Combining the mapped loci with gene expression profiles of the evolved and parental strains we identified a number of candidate genes with genetic and/or gene expression changes that could underlie molybdate resistance and increased GSH levels. Our results provide insight into the genetic basis of GSH production relevant to winemaking and highlight the value of enhancing wine strains using existing variation present in wine strains.