Heat resistance acquirement of the spoilage yeast Saccharomyces diastaticus during heat exposure

Inge M. Suiker, Fleur E.L. Kleijburg, Han A.B. Wösten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The main fungal cause of spoilage of carbonated fermented beverages in the brewing industry is the amylolytic budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae subsp. diastaticus (Saccharomyces diastaticus). Heat treatment is used to avoid microbial spoilage of the fermented beverages. Therefore, the spoilage capacity of S. diastaticus may be linked to its relative high heat resistance. Here, we assessed whether S. diastaticus can acquire heat resistance when exposed to heat stress. To this end, ascospores of S. diastaticus strain MB523 were treated at 60°C for 10 min followed by growing the surviving spores on a glucose‐containing medium. The resulting vegetative cells were then allowed to sporulate again in sporulation medium. This cycle of heat treatment, vegetative growth, and sporulation was performed eight times in three independent lineages. After these eight cycles, the sporulation rate was similar to the start (∼75%) but the resulting ascospores were more heat resistant. The time needed to kill 90% of the population at 60°C (i.e. the D60‐value) increased from 6.5 to 9.0 min (p = 0.005). The vegetative cells also showed a trend to increased heat resistance with an increase in the D52‐value from 9.2 to 16.2 min (p = 0.1). In contrast, heat resistance of the vegetative cells that had not been exposed to heat during the eight cycles had been reduced with a D52‐value of 4.2 min (p = 0.003). Together, these data show that S. diastaticus MB523 can easily acquire heat resistance by inbreeding while subjected to heat stress. Conversely, heat resistance can be easily lost in the absence of this stress condition, indicative of a trade‐off for heat resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100020
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Food Protection
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Adaptation
  • Beer
  • Heat stress
  • Spoilage
  • Sporulation
  • Yeast


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