OENO IVAS 2019 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 OENO IVAS 9 OENO IVAS 2019 9 Grape and wine microorganisms: diversity and adaptation 9 Nitrogen metabolism in Kluyveromyces marxianus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae: towards a better understanding of fermentation aroma production

Nitrogen metabolism in Kluyveromyces marxianus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae: towards a better understanding of fermentation aroma production


During wine alcoholic fermentation, yeasts produce volatile aroma compounds from sugar and nitrogen metabolism. Some of the metabolic pathways leading to these compounds have been known for more than a century. Yet, the differences in compound yield and nature between species remain poorly understood. Using a two-pronged approach of isotopic filiation and transcriptome analysis, this study endeavoured to shed new light on the utilisation of nitrogen sources by two wine-related yeast species, Saccharomyces cerevisiae Lalvin EC1118® (Lallemand) and Kluyveromyces marxianus IWBT Y885. 

The data showed that, although the order and intensity of uptake of nitrogen sources was broadly similar, those of ammonium and arginine differed. Furthermore, the utilisation of assimilated amino acids also differed significantly. While S. cerevisiae redistributed the nitrogen in these amino acids evenly for the production of other amino acids, K. marxianus clearly favoured specific amino acids. As for amino acids used as substrates for the production of aroma compounds, the fate of leucine and valine did not differ significantly between the two species. However, phenylalanine metabolism differed, and a larger proportion of phenylalanine was channelled through the Ehrlich pathway in K. marxianus, resulting in increased production of phenylethanol. Transcriptome data suggest that this shift can be explained by the higher expression of aromatic amino transferases in K. marxianus. Taken together, the data show that metabolic pathways are broadly conserved, but that individual nitrogen sources are not always assimilated and metabolised in identical ways. The study also provides new insights on the modulation of fermentative aroma profiles by yeast species of commercial interest.


Publication date: June 10, 2020

Issue: OENO IVAS 2019

Type: Article


Benoit Divol, Stephanie Rollero, Audrey Bloem, Anne Ortiz-Julien, Florian Bauer, Carole Camarasa

Institute for Wine Biotechnology, Department of Viticulture and Oenology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa

Contact the author


Nitrogen metabolism, Kluyveromyces marxianus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Fermentative aroma compounds 


IVES Conference Series | OENO IVAS 2019


Related articles…

Lamp – a modern tool for the detection of fungal infections in the vineyard

AIM: Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) [1] is a modern technology for fast and sensitive amplification of specific DNA sequences under isothermal conditions. Its simple handling and no need for dedicated equipment together with an evaluation of the amplification event by in-tube detection make this method advantageous and economically affordable for on-site investigations in the industry.

Modification on grape phenolic and aromatic composition due to different leafroll virus infections

Viral diseases are reported to cause several detrimental effects on grapevine. Among them, leafroll, due to single or mixed infection of GLRaV1 and GLRaV3, and rugose wood, associated to GVA, are considered the most widespread and dangerous.


Wine tasting has been shown to provide emotions to tasters (Coste et al. 2018). How will expertise impact this emotional response? Burnham and Skilleås (2012) reported that the cultural, experiential, and aesthetic competencies characterize an expert in wine compared to a novice. Although there is no consensual definition of an aesthetic experience, Burnham and Skilleås (2012) reported that aesthetic appreciation is “disinterested, normative for others and communicable” in comparison to sensory pleasure.

Geospatial technologies in spatially defined viticulture: case study of a vineyard with Agiorgitiko variety in Koutsi, Nemea, Greece

Geospatial technologies have significant contribution to viticulture, especially in small-scale vineyards, which require precise management. Geospatial data collected by modern technologies, such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and satellite imagery, can be processed by modern software and easily be stored and transferred to GIS environments, highlighting important information about the health of vine plants, the yield of grapes and the wine, especially in wine-making varieties. The identification of field variability is very important, particularly for the production of high quality wine. Modern geospatial data management technologies are used to achieve an easy and effortless localization of the fields’ variability.

Antifungal and Laccase-Suppressing Activity of Phenolic Compounds and Their Oxidation Products on Grey Mold-Fungus Botrytis cinerea

Botrytis cinerea causes grey mold that results in severe problems for wine makers worldwide. Infected grapes lead to quality deterioration including formation of off-flavors or browning. The latter is caused by the enzyme laccase which is capable of oxidizing a wide range of phenolic compounds. Since the use of conventional pesticides is associated with many concerns of consumers and authorities regarding environmental and health related issues and may result in fungicide resistance, the development of green alternatives is gaining more attention.