A novel approach for the improvement of stress resistance in wine yeasts.Int J Food Microbiol. 2007 Feb 28; 114(1):83-91.IJ
During wine production yeast cells are affected by several stress conditions that could affect their viability and fermentation efficiency. In this work we describe a novel genetic manipulation strategy designed to improve stress resistance in wine yeasts. This strategy involves modifying the expression of the transcription factor MSN2, which plays an important role in yeast stress responses. The promoter in one of the genomic copies of this gene has been replaced by the promoter of the SPI1 gene, encoding for a cell wall protein of unknown function. SPI1 is expressed at late phases of growth and is regulated by Msn2p. This modification allows self-induction of MSN2 expression. MSN2 gene transcription, Msn2p protein levels and cell viability increase under several stress conditions in the genetically modified strain. The expression of stress response genes regulated by Msn2p also increases under these situations. Cells containing this promoter change are able to carry out vinifications at 15 and 30 degrees C with higher fermentation rates during the first days of the process compared to the control strain.