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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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PhD Mehmet Gazaloglu

Pectinolytic activities in yeast: genetic, enzymatic and metabolic diversity
mehmet-A

Pectin consists of a complex set of heteropolysaccharides that are present in most primary cell walls and are particularly abundant in fruits, particularly in citrus, apple, and grape. Three major groups of pectic polysaccharides have been recognized, all containing D-galacturonic acid as a central building block. Pectinases are an enzyme group that catalyzes the degradation of pectic substances through depolymerization (hydrolases and lyases) and de-esterification (esterases) reactions. During the industrial processing of fruits, the addition of pectinolytic enzymes supports the extraction of the juice and facilitates filtration. In winemaking, the presence of pectinolytic enzymes has also been shown to improve stability, taste, texture, color, and aroma. It has been reported that certain yeast species display pectinolytic activities, which mainly result from the activity of polygalacturonases that are homogalacturonan-degrading enzymes. This is of great industrial interest, particularly in winemaking and cocoa production due to the reported positive effects on taste complexity and organoleptic richness of the respective products. Nevertheless, a detailed understanding of how pectinolytic yeasts contribute to the product quality needs further scientific work.

In this study, yeast strains from different species will be studied for phenotypic and genotypic diversity with regard to their polygalacturonase activities. The superior yeast strains will be subjected to whole-genome sequencing and bioinformatic analysis will be conducted to search for Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes (CAZYmes). Selected yeast strains will be characterized in more detail in wine fermentations.

  • Period: 02/05/2018 - 30/06/2021
  • Supervisors : Sylvie Dequin (INRA Montpellier, UMR SPO) & Elke Nevoig (Jacobs University Bremen, Germany)
  • Co-supervisor : Carole Camarasa (INRA Montpellier, UMR SPO)
  • Contact: m.gazaloglu@jacobs-university.de