Mechanisms of yeast flocculation: comparison of top- and bottom-fermenting strains.
Dengis PB, NĂ©lissen LR, Rouxhet PG
Applied and Environmental Microbiology (1995)
Category: flocculation ¤ Added: Nov 26, 2003 ¤ Rating: ◊◊
The flocculation of two brewing yeast strains, top-fermenting strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae MUCL 38485 and bottom-fermenting strain Saccharomyces carlsbergensis MUCL 28285, has been investigated by means of a turbidimetric test. The two strains showed different electrical properties, a different hydrophobicity, and a different surface chemical composition. They flocculated according to completely different mechanisms; however, no correlation between the cell physicochemical properties and the onset of flocculation was found for either strain. Flocculation of the bottom strain was governed by a lectin-mediated mechanism. It was inhibited by mannose and some other sugars, required calcium specifically, occurred in a narrow pH range different from the isoelectric point, and was not influenced by ethanol. The onset of flocculation at the end of the exponential phase was controlled both by the appearance of "active" lectins at the cell surface and by the decrease in sugar concentration in the solution. Flocculation of the top strain was not inhibited by mannose, did not require the addition of calcium, and took place at the cell isoelectric point. Low concentrations of ethanol broadened the pH range in which the cells flocculated, and flocculation was favored by an increase of ionic strength. Adsorbed ethanol may induce flocculation by reducing the electrostatic repulsion between cells, by decreasing steric stabilization, and/or by allowing the protrusion of polymer chains into the liquid phase. The onset of flocculation was controlled by both a change of the cell surface and an increase in ethanol concentration. The only evidence for an adhesin-mediated mechanism was the specific requirement for a small amount of calcium.