Complementing DIGE proteomics and DNA subarray analyses to shed light on Oenococcus oeni adaptation to ethanol in wine-simulated conditions

Antonella Costantini, Kalliopi Rantsiou, Avishek Majumder, Susanne Jacobsen, Enrica Pessione, Birte Svensson, Emilia Garcia-Moruno, Luca Cocolin

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Direct addition of Oenococcus oeni starters into wine can cause viability problems. In the present study, the influence of ethanol in wine-simulated conditions on O. oeni has been evaluated by complementing microarray techniques and DIGE proteomics. Two different ethanol concentrations were studied. In 12% ethanol, pyrimidine anabolism was stimulated, but in 8% ethanol some energy-consuming biosynthetic pathways were limited. The most significant result was the stress response induced by alcohol that concerned both the cell-envelope and specific stress proteins. Interestingly, 8% and 12% ethanol triggered different stress responses: in mild ethanol stress (8%), chaperones with prevalent refolding activity (like HSP20) were over-expressed, whereas at higher alcohol concentration (12%), together with HSP20 and the refolding DNAJ/K, also chaperones having proteolytic activity (like ClpP) were induced. Furthermore the stress response repressor HrcA was downregulated only at 12% ethanol, suggesting that it controls stress pathways, which are different from those active at 8% alcohol. This result confirms that the HrcA system is operative in O. oeni where the CtrS system is prevalent. Biological significanceThe use of malolactic starter cultures has become widespread to control the MLF process and to prevent off-flavors. There is significant interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms that O. oeni uses to adapt to harsh wine conditions. The overall results highlight that the alcohol-induced stress response involves not only biosynthesis of stress proteins but also envelope-linked mechanisms. From a practical point of view this research underlines the importance of starters acclimation to induce responses that would allow better adaptation to the wine. As a consequence, a well adapted starter can complete malolactic fermentation and improve the final wine quality.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Proteomics
    Pages (from-to)114-127
    Number of pages14
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • O. oeni
    • Stress response
    • Cell envelope
    • Energy metabolism
    • EPS
    • Chaperones


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