We are happy to share that our #teamTFTAK member Hidde has recently published his second scientific paper and we are happy to share more details about it!
The journey through scientific research often parallels a thrilling adventure, filled with unexpected turns and rewarding discoveries. Hidde, a great member of #teamTFTAK, recently finished his second scientific paper, unravelling the intricate world of yeast science.
How long have you worked with this project in TFTAK?
The first email about this project dates from June 2021, so we have been working on this project for approximately two years. These were lengthy and laborious experiments, in which we monitored and analysed 76 fermentations using 11 different yeast strains.
The results were far more interesting than originally predicted, which required additional follow-up work. This is the second article of my PhD project. In that first article, we presented the methodology that we successfully applied in the current study.
Your favourite part of this project?
This research was conducted in collaboration with Sciences pour l'Œnologie (SPO) in France. Their expertise in the field of yeast science is invaluable and has taught us much. Ultimately, this work has made me a better scientist.
Please explain us the problem that was solved?
The uptake of oligopeptides by wine yeast has mostly been studied in single-peptide systems because peptides are difficult to measure in natural matrices. In this study, we characterised different yeast peptide transporters in media containing an abundance of different peptides that reflect grape must. Altogether, we provided further evidence of the importance of peptides as a nitrogen source for yeast and their consequent positive impact on fermentation kinetics.
How does it relate to real life?
Nitrogen uptake is essential for yeast growth and metabolism; therefore, this study is fundamental. It teaches us how wine yeast takes up oligopeptides in oenological conditions, which will ultimately allow us to select suitable grape musts or fermentation supplements.
What comes next?
In my next and final project, I will examine how peptides play a role in another important industry: whisky fermentation. In this project we’re both combining methods that we have previously applied and new ones we recently developed to allow us to answer this question.
Fun moment related to this article?
In the beginning of December, I presented my research orally at the 37th International Specialised Symposium on Yeasts in Adelaide, Australia. Right before my presentation, I discovered that the article was included in the journals’ Spotlight Selection: a list of articles of significant interest for that month.
The feedback on the presentation was also very positive: I met other researchers who were also working with one of the peptide transporters that we characterised, and I even met one of the reviewers of the article.
Altogether, I felt that all the work that went into producing this article was greatly appreciated in the field, and I could not be in a better place to realise that than in the best wine-producing region of Australia.