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Pichia anomala J121: a 30-year overnight near success biopreservation story
Department of Microbiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Soil and Environment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Skara, Sweden.
2011 (English)In: Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology, ISSN 0003-6072, E-ISSN 1572-9699, Vol. 99, no 1, 5-12 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Thirty years ago, the ascomycetous yeast Pichia anomala strain J121 was isolated from moist wheat grain stored under conditions of restricted air access. Early observations indicated that an inverse relationship existed between mould and P. anomala colony forming units in grain. This yeast strain was later found to have strong antifungal properties in laboratory, pilot and farm studies with high-moisture wheat under malfunctioning airtight storage. P. anomala had the highest inhibitory activity of 60 yeast species evaluated against the mould Penicillium roqueforti. It also demonstrated strong inhibitory effects against certain Gram-negative bacteria. P. anomala J121 possesses a number of physiological characteristics, i.e. capacity to grow under low pH, low water activity and low oxygen tension and ability to use a wide range of carbon and nitrogen sources, enabling it to act as an efficient biopreservative agent. The biocontrol effect in grain was enhanced by addition of glucose, mainly through formation of the volatile antimicrobial ethyl acetate. Animal feeding trials with P. anomala J121 inoculated grains, fed to chickens and beef cattle, demonstrated that mould control observed in vitro in small scale laboratory experiments could be extended to large scale farm trials. In addition, no adverse effects on animal weight gain, feed conversion, health or behaviour were observed. We have now studied P. anomala J121 biology, ecology and grain preservation ability for 30 years. Over this period, more than 40 scientific publications and five PhD theses have been written on different aspects of this yeast strain, extending from fundamental research on metabolism, genetics and molecular biology, all the way to practical farm-scale level. In spite of the well documented biopreservative ability of the yeast, it has to date been very difficult to create the right constellation of technical, agricultural and biotechnical industries necessary to reach a commercial launch of a P. anomala J121 based biopreservation system. Additionally, the complications caused by a complex EU regulatory system remain a significant barrier to practical applications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer Netherlands, 2011. Vol. 99, no 1, 5-12 p.
Keyword [en]
Pichia anomala, Hansenula, Wickerhamomyces, Application, Feed trials, Grain storage
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-52205DOI: 10.1007/s10482-010-9509-2ISI: 000286463200002PubMedID: 20872178ScopusID: 2-s2.0-79451475561OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-52205DiVA: diva2:971059

Funding Agencies:

MISTRA (The Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research) 

FORMAS (The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planing)

SLF (The Swedish Farmers' Foundation for Agricultural Research) 

European Union 

Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences 

Available from: 2016-09-15 Created: 2016-09-15 Last updated: 2016-09-15Bibliographically approved

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