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Social wasp intestines host the local phenotypic variability of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains
- Dapporto, Leonardo, Stefanini, Irene, Rivero, Damariz, Polsinelli, Mario, Capretti, Paolo, De Marchi, Paolo, Viola, Roberto, Turillazzi, Stefano, Cavalieri, Duccio
- Yeast 2016 v.33 no.7 pp. 277-287
- Hymenoptera, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, acetic acid, carbon, ethyl acetate, fermentation, genotype, grape must, insects, intestines, metabolites, phenotype, phenotypic variation, sympatry, variance, yeasts
- Nowadays, the presence of Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been assessed in both wild and human‐related environments. Social wasps have been shown to maintain and vector S. cerevisiae among different environments. The availability of strains isolated from wasp intestines represents a striking opportunity to assess whether the strains found in wasp intestines are characterized by peculiar traits. We analysed strains isolated from the intestines of social wasps and compared them with strains isolated from other sources, all collected in a restricted geographic area. We evaluated the production of volatile metabolites during grape must fermentation, the resistance to different stresses and the ability to exploit various carbon sources. Wasp strains, in addition to representing a wide range of S. cerevisiae genotypes, also represent large part of the phenotypes characterizing the sympatric set of yeast strains; their higher production of acetic acid and ethyl acetate could reflect improved ability to attract insects. Our findings suggest that the relationship between yeasts and wasps should be preserved, to safeguard not only the natural variance of this microorganism but also the interests of wine‐makers, who could take advantage from the exploitation of their phenotypic variability. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.