Main content area

Lachancea yeast species: Origin, biochemical characteristics and oenological significance

Porter, Tristan Jade, Divol, Benoit, Setati, Mathabatha Evodia
Food research international 2019 v.119 pp. 378-389
Lachancea thermotolerans, beers, chemical composition, chromosomes, ecosystems, fermentation, flavor, genetic variation, habitats, lactic acid, microbiome, odors, wines, yeasts
The genus Lachancea, first proposed in 2003, currently comprises 12 valid species, all found to have eight chromosomes. Lachancea spp. occupy a myriad of natural and anthropic habitats, and their geographic as well as ecological origin have been identified as key drivers in the genetic variations amongst strains of several of the species. Lachancea thermotolerans is the type species of the genus and also the most widely explored, especially for its role in fermentation environments. Indeed, L. thermotolerans is desired for its ability to acidify beer and wine through the production of lactic acid, and to enhance aroma and flavor through increased production of various compounds. Similarly, L. fermentati has been characterized for its potential contribution to the chemical composition of these beverages, albeit to a lesser extent, while other species have received little attention. Overall, members of the genus Lachancea form part of the microbiomes in many fermentation ecosystems and contribute directly or indirectly to the modulation of aroma and flavor of different products. The current review provides an overview of this genus, including the latest reports on the genetic and biochemical characteristics of member species, as well as their biotechnological potential.