Genomic insights into the evolution of industrial yeast species Brettanomyces bruxellensis

Christopher D. Curtin, Isak S. Pretorius*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)997-1005
Number of pages9
JournalFEMS Yeast Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


  • Brettanomyces bruxellensis
  • Dekkera
  • Genomics
  • Spoilage
  • Wine
  • Yeasts


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