Protective role of glutathione addition against wine-related stress in Oenococcus oeni.Food Res Int 2016; 90:8-15FR
Oenococcus oeni is the main species responsible for the malolactic fermentation (MLF) of wine due to its ability to survive in this environment. Some wine-related stress factors, such as ethanol and low pH, may alter the cell redox balance of O. oeni. For the first time, the ability to uptake glutathione (GSH), an almost universal tripeptide with antioxidant properties, has been associated to the improvement of stress response in O. oeni. Despite the inability of O. oeni to synthesize GSH, this bacterium can capture it from the media. The ability of 30 O. oeni strains to uptake GSH was assessed in this study. Although all of the strains tested were able to import GSH, substantial variability among them was detected. To assess the physiological function of GSH, three strains with different GSH-import capacities were selected. Significant changes in membrane fatty acids composition were observed due to GSH addition. The most relevant was the increase of cyclopropane fatty acids in cell membrane, in both the exponential and the stationary phases. Cells grown with GSH showed an improved survival against ethanol shock (14% v/v). GSH addition also increased biomass production during the adaptation to wine stress conditions (pH4, pH3.4 and 6% ethanol). The results suggest that GSH enrichment could improve the resistance to stress to O. oeni, which could be useful for the adaptation of MLF starter cultures.