Genome survey sequencing of the wine spoilage yeast Dekkera (Brettanomyces) bruxellensis

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The hemiascomycete yeast Dekkera bruxellensis, also known as Brettanomyces bruxellensis, is a major cause of wine spoilage worldwide. Wines infected with D. bruxellensis develop distinctive, unpleasant aromas due to volatile phenols produced by this species, which is highly ethanol tolerant and facultatively anaerobic. Despite its importance, however, D. bruxellensis has been poorly genetically characterized until now. We performed genome survey sequencing of a wine strain of D. bruxellensis to obtain 0.4x coverage of the genome. We identified approximately 3,000 genes, whose products averaged 49% amino acid identity to their Saccharomyces cerevisiae orthologs, with similar intron contents. Maximum likelihood phylogenetic analyses suggest that the relationship between D. brurellensis, S. cerevisiae, and Candida albicans is close to a trichotomy. The estimated rate of chromosomal rearrangement in D. bruxellensis is slower than that calculated for C albicans, while its rate of amino acid evolution is somewhat higher. The proteome of D. bruxellensis is enriched for transporters and genes involved in nitrogen and lipid metabolism, among other functions, which may reflect adaptations to its low-nutrient, high-ethanol niche. We also identified an adenyl deaminase gene that has high similarity to a gene in bacteria of the Burkholderia cepacia species complex and appears to be the result of horizontal gene transfer. These data provide a resource for further analyses of the population genetics and evolution of D. bruxellensis and of the genetic bases of its physiological capabilities.


  • Megan Woolfit
  • Elzbieta Rozpedowska
  • Jure Piskur
  • Kenneth H. Wolfe
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biological Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-733
JournalEukaryotic Cell
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch