Identification of four distinct S. cerevisiae wine yeast populations from British Columbia’s Okanagan Wine Region
Part of the ‘From Grapes to Wines: Cool Climate’ webinar series, join Perennia’s Winemaking and Innovation Specialist Neslihan Ivit and Dr. Vivien Measday from University of British Columbia for the upcoming session ‘Identification of four distinct S. cerevisiae wine yeast populations from British Columbia’s Okanagan Wine Region’.
From 2013 to 2018, Dr. Vivien Measday and her team isolated S. cerevisiae strains from spontaneous wine grape fermentations carried out with both Okanagan Valley Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir grapes. They used two genomic methods – microsatellite analysis and whole genome sequencing – to demonstrate that we have four genetically distinct populations of wine yeast strains, only one of which is similar to commercial wine strains.
- D. with Dr. Brenda Andrews in yeast cell cycle control – University of Toronto, 1992-1998
- Postdoctoral research with Dr. Phil Hieter in yeast chromosome segregation – University of British Columbia 1998-2003
- 2004 – Assistant Professor Wine Research Centre, Food Science, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia
- 2012 – Associate professor Wine Research Centre, Food Science, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia
- Associate member – Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UBC
- Associate member – Michael Smith Laboratories, Genomics Group, UBC
- Associate member – Dept. of Biology, University of British Columbia – Okanagan campus
Wine Yeast Research
Dr. Vivien Measday’s research focuses on the study of yeast populations associated with the vineyards of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. They partner with wineries in the Okanagan Valley to perform spontaneous fermentations and isolation of the wine yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae). Using high-throughput genotypic analyses, they generate a genetic fingerprint of each S. cerevisiae strain and compare it to a fingerprint database of S. cerevisiae commercial wine yeast strains that we have generated. Recently they have carried out whole genome sequencing of ~75 of our wine yeast strains and have discovered that three populations are genetically different from commercial wine yeast strains. Their goal is to identify S. cerevisiae indigenous to the Okanagan Valley with enological potential.
Dr. Vivien Measday’s lab uses S. cerevisiae as a model system to study retrotransposition. Retrotransposons are repetitive DNA elements in the genome that can replicate via an RNA intermediate and insert a new complementary DNA copy into the genome. They study the Ty1 retrotransposon which has a structure and life cycle similar to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) except that Ty1 does not exit the cell. Their focus is to identify host factors that interact with Ty1 integrase, a conserved protein that is required for insertion of retroviral/retrotransposon DNA into the genome.