Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2013
Publication Date: 11/5/2013
Citation: Buzzini, P. and Margesin, R. 2013. Cold-Adapted Yeasts. Heidelberg, Berlin: Springer-Verlag. p. 441-464. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: After harvest, many fruits are kept in cold storage in order to prolong their availability and shelf-life. Often, this requires the application of a chemical fungicide to prevent postharvest decay from decay fungi. An alternative approach for preventing postharvest fungal decay during storage could be based on the treatment of the commodity with antagonistic yeasts. In this regard, the use of cold-adapted yeasts may offer a distinct advantage. Numerous cold-adapted yeasts species have been isolated from artificial cold environments, as well as cold-stored fruits. Since the method employed to isolate potential antagonists has a major impact on the type and properties of the antagonist to be identified, it is important to evaluate the consequences of the methods that are presently being utilized and to appraise whether or not they can be improved. Although the mechanism(s) by which yeasts antagonists suppress postharvest diseases can be quite variable, competition for nutrients and space plays a major role in their antagonistic activity. Additionally; production of antibiotics, direct parasitism, and the induction of resistance in the harvested commodity are other modes of action that have been documented and suggested to play a role in how yeasts suppress postharvest pathogens in harvested fruits. While a few yeast-based products have been on the market, this field of study is still in its infancy and it is likely that several new products will enter the market in the near future. Nonetheless, it is necessary to continue to identify new potential microorganisms and to develop a better understanding of the biology of yeast biocontrol systems by involving yeasts, pathogens and host commodity, in order to increase the potential of postharvest biocontrol as a viable alternative to synthetic postharvest fungicides. While the results of this technology are encouraging, we need to continue to explore the potential use of appropriate yeasts worldwide where management practices, types of fruit and decay pathogens can vary considerably.