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Completed Projects

Identifying further opportunities and strategies for further strain optimisation: attendance of 14th International Conference on Yeasts (Awaji Is. Hyogo, Japan)

  • Date Completed: 2016-12-01
  • Project Supervisor: Walker, Dr Michelle

An AGWA travel award enabled the attendance of Dr Michelle Walker at the 14th International Congress on Yeasts held at Awaji Yumebutai, Hyogo Prefecture in Japan (11-15 September 2016). This congress, held every four years, attracted some 440 academic and industry delegates from about 40 countries, and included several reputable international speakers. The conference explored different yeast(s) and their genetics, synthetic biology and their application in the production of alcoholic beverages, and biotechnology (biofuel/high value products). The conference provided opportunities to meet informally with other researchers in related areas of yeast research.  Student participation was actively encouraged through sponsorship by the conference organisers and The Carl Singer Foundation. Students awarded scholarships gave short talks (as well as poster presentations) on their research. An oral presentation (and poster) entitled ‘Mapping of genes responsible for yeast-derived modulation of colour in model red wine’ was given. A visit was undertaken to the research laboratories of Professor Hiroshiri Takagi (Nara Institute of Science and Technology). His research on how proline protects yeast from alcoholic stress during fermentation is of particular interest, as improved use of this nitrogen source in juice has been a long standing interest of our group.

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Participation at the Seventh European Conference on Sensory and Consumer Research, Eurosense (A Sense of Time) 2016, 11 – 14 September 2016, Dijon, France and research visits to AgroTechParis and INRA

  • Date Completed: 2016-12-01
  • Project Supervisor: Danner, Dr Lukas

The award of this travel grant provided University of Adelaide postdoctoral research fellow Lukas Danner the opportunity to attend and present at Seventh European Conference on Sensory and Consumer Research, Eurosense 2016 and visit leading research laboratories and meet researchers from INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research) and AgroTechParis. Lukas Danner presented research findings from the Wine Australia funded research project (UA1203) at the conference in form of an oral presentation titled ‘Relationships between wine consumers’ fine wine behaviour and their moods, product-evoked emotions, liking and willingness to pay for Australian Shiraz wine: A segmentation study’. A poster was also presented.

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ACE Winery Trials

  • Date Completed: 2016-10-28
  • Project Supervisor: Sparrow, Dr Angela

Accentuated Cut Edges (ACE) maceration reduces skin particle size thereby increasing the rate of extraction of components from grape skins. Subsequently, the wine can be pressed earlier (PE) than usual, and the fermentation completed in a smaller tank to make PE-ACE wine. The technique optimises fruit characteristics and saves time, space and labour in the winery. ACE maceration was tested on five red wine grape varieties at six commercial wineries located in four Australian states. PEACE treated wines had similar phenolic composition and sensory scores to the untreated wines. ACE maceration has the potential to significantly improve processing efficiency, profitability and competitiveness in the global market.

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Managing vineyards rootzone salinity and maximising water saving by sub-surface irrigation techniques

  • Date Completed: 2016-10-31
  • Project Supervisor: McCarthy, Dr Michael

The results of a five-year field experiment in the South Australian Riverland indicated that under non-restricted irrigation allocations there were no water use savings or improvements in rootzone salinity with the use of subsurface irrigation; either using conventional subsurface drip line or when the subsurface drip line was enclosed in a porous fabric strip designed to improve the lateral movement of water. Only under severely reduced irrigation volume was there some yield advantage with the two types of subsurface irrigation. There was deposition of fine colloidal clay within the fabric covering which may have influenced the long-term performance of this irrigation system with the water source used in this experiment and this warrants further investigation.

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Evaluating non-conventional yeast for the production of wines that contain less ethanol

  • Date Completed: 2016-06-30
  • Project Supervisor: Varela, Dr Cristian

There is growing interest from winemakers in being able to produce wines with lower ethanol content that do not have compromised aroma, flavour, and mouth-feel. There are opportunities across the value chain to implement strategies to achieve this, including viticultural practices, pre-fermentation and winemaking practices, microbiological strategies and post-fermentation practices and processing technologies (Varela et al. 2015). However, the application of yeast strains that produce less ethanol during fermentation remains a simple and cheap strategy for producers to adopt towards this goal. Unfortunately, all available commercial S. cerevisiae wine yeasts are very similar in terms of ethanol yield; a difference of 0.5% v/v has been observed between ‘high’ and ‘low’ ethanol producers (Palacios et al. 2007; Varela et al. 2008). In order to reduce ethanol concentration, novel yeast need to be isolated or generated.

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Participation in the Wartburg Flavour Chemistry and Biology symposium in Germany and the Macrowine 2016 symposium in Switzerland – The biochemical response of grapevines to smoke exposure

  • Date Completed: 2016-09-18
  • Project Supervisor: Van Der Hulst, Ms Lieke

The travel grant provided University of Adelaide PhD student, Lieke van der Hulst, the opportunity to attend and present at (i) the 11th Wartburg Symposium on Flavor Chemistry and Biology in Eisenach, Germany (June 21–24) and (ii) the Macrowine 2016 Symposium in Nyon, Switzerland (June 27–30). The focus of these symposia are flavour chemistry and biology, and grape and wine macromolecules and secondary metabolites, respectively. Lieke van der Hulst presented research findings from her PhD at each conference, outlining the impact of smoke exposure by grapevines on the chemical composition of fruit, in particular grapes of different cultivars. Feedback from conference delegates was favourable and, together with networking opportunities and the knowledge gained from other presentation, which spanned flavour chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, sensory science and wine science fields, was immensely valuable.

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Fine wine export prospects for Australia

  • Date Completed: 2016-07-06
  • Project Supervisor: Anderson, Professor Kym

This Bursary enabled me to participate in the Annual Conference of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE), held at the University of Bordeaux during 21-25 June 2016, and to co-convene and present at a pre-conference workshop at the same venue (20-21 June), on Wine’s Evolving Globalization. Several outputs are already available, others will become available by end-February 2017, and one other (a revision, update, and major backdate of our eBook Global Wine Markets: A Statistical Compendium) could be a further output should Wine Australia wish to fund its compilation during fiscal year 2016-17.

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Travel bursary application for the participation at the international conference “MACROWINE 2016, Macromolecules and Secondary Metabolites of Grapevine and Wine´´

  • Date Completed: 2016-07-04
  • Project Supervisor: Kodoudakis, Nick

The principal activity of the travel was to attend the international congress Macrowine 2016. The opportunity to have an oral presentation gave us the chance to present at the scientific community part of our results related with the project NWG 1401, funded by AGWA. The exposure of the data opened a discussion with experts of the field of wine macromolecules. The discussion focussed mainly on the option for further experimentation. Moreover, the attendance to the Macrowine 2016 gave the opportunity to get in contact with potential collaborators all over the world. Several presented interest on the work that was presented at the congress and for future collaborations. Finally, the participation at the Macrowine 2016 was a good opportunity to keep up to date with the lastest discoveries in the field of wine macromolecules.

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Participation in the X International Symposium on Grapevine Physiology and Biotechnology. Verona, Italy – June 13-18, 2016

  • Date Completed: 2016-08-01
  • Project Supervisor: Grigg, Dylan Paul

The principal aim of this travel was to attend the 10thGPB and present a poster entitled “Does vine age influence vine performance and grape quality?” in the poster session Topic 2: Yield, berry ripening, grape and wine quality. Further to the above aim while travelling to Europe the opportunity was taken to broaden my knowledge and understanding of viticulture practices and production systems in different environments via a self-funded brief study tour including:

  • Technical visits in Italy in the Langhe region of Piemonte, specifically in and around the world famous areas of Barolo and Barbaresco. Meeting with scientists, researchers and wine producers.
  • Technical visits to the Emporda region in North East Spain to observe vineyard practices and production in a hot dry climate, especially to observe ‘old’ vines over 100 years in age.

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Support to take up INRA/ Agreenskills + fellowship in Montpellier, France

  • Date Completed: 2016-06-30
  • Project Supervisor: Howell, Dr Kate

The activity of yeasts in wine fermentations directly contributes to wine quality, but the source and movement of these yeasts in vineyard and winery environments has not been resolved. This study investigates the yeast species associated with a insect vector to help understand yeast dispersal and persistence. Drosophila are commonly found in vineyards and Drosophila and yeasts have a known mutualistic relationship in other ecosystems. Drosophilids were collected from vineyards, marc piles and wineries during the grape harvest. Captured flies were identified morphologically to and their associated yeasts were identified. Of the 296 Drosophila flies captured in this study the species identified were Drosophila melanogaster, Drosophila simulans, Drosophila hydei, and Scaptodrosophila lativittata. These flies were associated with the yeasts Metschnikowia pulcherrima, Hanseniaspora uvarum, Torulaspora delbrueckii and Hanseniaspora valbyensis. The diversity of yeasts and Drosophila species differed between collection locations (vineyard and marc; R=0.588 for Drosophila and R= 0.644 for yeasts). Surprisingly, the primary wine fermentation yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae was not isolated in this study. Drosophila flies are preferentially associated with different species of yeasts in the vineyard and winery environment and this association may help movement and dispersal of yeast species in the vineyard and winery ecosystem.

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