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Yeasts for the Sustainability in Viticulture and Oenology (YeSVitE)
Start date: Jan 1, 2014, End date: Dec 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Modern viticulture and oenology were born in the last century responding to the need to innovate in traditional technologies. However, current economic, ecological and social changes require new strategies for wine production that take an integrated view of the entire wine production chain to ensure sustainability. Current management systems of vineyards and fermentations are indeed not economically or environmentally sustainable. The present proposal will approach this topic from both an environmental, focusing on the theme of biodiversity and its protection, and from an economic/social point of view. Optimization will promote the use of yeasts to reduce pests in pre/post-harvesting and to produce low-alcoholic and/or sulphite wines. In particular, the identification of fermentative yeasts isolated from ancient (Italy, Georgia, and Slovenia) and new (Sweden, Canada, and South Africa) vine-growing areas will allow the selection of species/strains that could be useful to evaluate both the possible interaction between genomes and phenotypes and the interplay of wine-related organisms in the oenological environment. Finally, the network aims to produce non-GMO yeasts for the participative selection of strains by the wineries. The consortium research units possess complementary competencies and are all working with success in wine research; partners have consolidated expertise in chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, genetics, bioinformatics, and taxonomy. The level of quality of the involved institutions and the appropriate staff exchange scheme (early and experienced researches) will allow an efficient transfer of knowledge during three years and for long-term collaborations. The expected impact of the consortium will be to contribute to the wine research field and to transfer its know-how to wine-makers.

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