Metabolic network and genetic basis of aroma production in Saccharomyces hybrids

Academic partners: INRA, Montpellier, France; University of Leicester, UK.
Industry Partner: Lallemand, France

Incorporating phenotypic traits of their two originated species, yeast hybrids exhibit a unique combination of properties and specific arrays of fermentation products. For example, wine yeast hybrids can combine the low temperature tolerance of one parent with the profile of volatile molecules (aromas) produced by the other. This project will first aim to generate new Saccharomyces interspecies hybrids with metabolic phenotypes of interest for wine industry. The second key point will be the identification the metabolic network and genetic loci responsible for fermentative characters and formation of aroma and flavour by these strains. This project will rely on the high-throughput aroma profiling and 13C-metabolic fluxes analysis of various Saccharomyces sensu stricto strains and hybrids during wine fermentation. Hybrids and diploid hybrid F1 progeny will be generated via tetraploid intermediates. QTL analysis will be then used to identify and validate the role of allelic variants on fermentative and metabolic characters. The suitability for commercialisation of new hybrids will be assessed by the industry partner.