Alternatives to sulfur dioxide for controlling Brettanomyces spoilage in wine


Brettanomyces is a yeast associated with wine spoilage, particularly during storage.  Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is the most commonly approach used to control this yeast (Harris et al 2010). However, the use of SO2 has several downsides, including the potential to develop resistance (Curtin et al 2012).


Novel approaches to avoid SO2 in managing Brettanomyces such as biological agents including peptides (yeast killer factors) and/or enzymes (β-glucanase) and physical method of control (low voltage, high pressure, UV treatment) will be investigated. The development of rapid/real-time sensors for Brettanomyces might also contribute to management of this spoilage organism. This project would take advantage of current joint research between the AWRI and UoA on this topic.

PhD position available (ICHDR7)

We seek a highly motivated PhD candidate with a high level Honours or Masters qualification or equivalent in microbiology, molecular biology, bioinformatics or fermentation science.  The project will be based at the Waite campus of The University of Adelaide.  Skills the candidate will gain during their HDR include:

  • Design and development of novel approaches to managing wine spoilage, by both biological and physical means
  • In-vitro validation of selected antimicrobial agents or technologies against Brettanomyces and other wine related yeast
  • Real world validation of antimicrobial activities investigated in an industrial setting

For further information on the Centre PhD’s, including eligibility, visit the Join Us page.  If you are interested in this project, email project leader Associate Professor Paul Grbin to express your interest, including a copy of your CV and academic transcript.

Project leader

Associate Professor
Paul Grbin
University of Adelaide

Other investigators

Anthony Borneman

Jean Macintyre
Pernod Ricard Winemakers

Industry partners

AGRFThe Australian Wine Research InstitutePernod Ricard Winemakers

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