This work is the first large-scale study on vineyard-associated yeast strains from Apulia (Southern Italy). Yeasts were identified by Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) ribotyping and bioinformatic analysis. The polymorphism of interdelta elements was used to differentiate Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains. Twenty different species belonging to 9 genera were identified. Predominant on the grape surface were Metschnikowia pulcherrima, Hanseniaspora uvarum and Aureobasidium pullulans, whereas M. pulcherrima and H. uvarum were dominant in the early fermentation stage. A total of 692 S. cerevisiae isolates were identified and a number of S. cerevisiae strains, ranging from 26 to 55, was detected in each of the eight fermentations. The strains were tested for biogenic amines (BAs) production, either in synthetic media or grape must. Two Pichia manshurica, an Issatchenkia terricola and a M. pulcherrima strains were able to produce histamine and cadaverine, during must fermentation. The production of BAs in wine must was different than that observed in the synthetic medium. This feature indicate the importance of an "in grape must" assessment of BAs producing yeast. Overall, our results suggest the importance of microbiological control during wine-making to reduce the potential health risk for consumer represented by these spoilage yeasts.
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