Brettanomyces bruxellensis, like its wine yeast counterpart Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is intrinsically linked with industrial fermentations. In wine, B. bruxellensis is generally considered to contribute negative influences on wine quality, whereas for some styles of beer, it is an essential contributor. More recently, it has shown some potential for bioethanol production. Our relatively poor understanding of B. bruxellensis biology, at least when compared with S. cerevisiae, is partly due to a lack of laboratory tools. As it is a nonmodel organism, efforts to develop methods for sporulation and transformation have been sporadic and largely unsuccessful. Recent genome sequencing efforts are now providing B. bruxellensis researchers unprecedented access to gene catalogues, the possibility of performing transcriptomic studies and new insights into evolutionary drivers. This review summarises these findings, emphasises the rich data sets already available yet largely unexplored and looks over the horizon at what might be learnt soon through comprehensive population genomics of B. bruxellensis and related species.
- Brettanomyces bruxellensis