Microbiological research

Development of microsatellite markers for Lachancea thermotolerans typing and population structure of wine-associated isolates.

PMID 27825476


Lachancea (Kluyveromyces) thermotolerans is an important member of the grape/wine yeast community with great technological potential for the wine industry. Although several molecular marker techniques have been developed for typing different yeast species, no one has been designed so far for L. thermotolerans. Here we present a simple and efficient method based on a multilocus SSR analysis for molecular typing and genetic diversity assessment of L. thermotolerans isolates. Following whole genome screening, five polymorphic microsatellite markers were selected and tested on a panel of grape isolates from different vineyards of two geographically separated viticultural zones, Nemea and Peza, in Greece. The SSR method proved quite discriminatory as compared to tandem repeat-tRNA-PCR, a fingerprinting method for typing non-Saccharomyces yeasts. Genetic analysis based on SSR data revealed a clear structure between the populations of the two zones. Furthermore, significant differences were also detected in a number of phenotypic characters of enological interest. A positive correlation was observed between phenotypic and genotypic diversity. Taking together, present results support the microbial terroir concept in the case of L. thermotolerans in Greece, which is an important prerequisite for the exploitation of selected genotypes as fermentation starters with region-specific characters.