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PhD Viwe Tyibilika

Unravelling flavour production in wine through yeast redox balance management
Viwe TYIBILIKA 300x200

France and South Africa are amongst the top 10 wine producing countries. Although the wine industry is flourishing, it faces harsh competition and is in constant need of innovation to satisfy a wide variety of culturally different consumers who demand wines with character produced with a minimum of inputs. Yeasts seem to be an obvious target for innovation to address these issues, because as the main agents of alcoholic fermentation, they drive the production and diversity of flavor compounds. Nevertheless, while a large diversity of species occurs, only a few are relatively well characterized and used industrially. The production of aromas by yeasts is directly connected to their ability to cope with and respond to dynamic environmental conditions through the plasticity of their metabolic network, which in particular, allows them to maintain intracellular redox balance by making use of a variety of metabolic pathways and reorienting metabolic carbon and nitrogen fluxes. By doing so, they produce a diversity of flavor compounds, the nature and concentrations of which vary according to the yeast species and environmental conditions. In doing so, they produce a wide range of aromatic compounds, the nature and concentrations of which vary according to the yeast species and environmental conditions. Understanding and exploiting this diversity should make it possible to respond to the challenges of the wine sector, in particular to offer wines with increased complexity.

In this context, the objectives of this project are: to characterize the management of redox balance in different yeasts of the oenological consortium, taking into account environmental conditions and technological constraints; to evaluate the impact of the management of the redox balance on the metabolism and the production of aromatic compounds; and finally to apply this knowledge to define process management strategies aimed at orienting the metabolic profile of the wines.

  • Period : 01 / 09/ 2020 - 31/ 08 / 2023
  • Supervisors : Carole Camarasa (INRAE Montpellier, UMR SPO) / Benoît Divol (SAGWRI, South Africa)
  • Joint supervision between the University of Montpellier and the University of Stellenbosch
  • Co-supervisor : Audrey Bloem (UM, UMR SPO)
  • E-mail : viwe.tyibilika@supagro.fr