Biotransformation of monoterpene alcohols by Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Torulaspora delbrueckii and Kluyveromyces lactis

A King, J Richard Dickinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Monoterpenoids are important flavour compounds produced by many plant species, including grapes (Vitis vinifera) and hops (Humulus lupulus). Biotransformation reactions involving monoterpenoids have been characterized in filamentous fungi, but few examples have been observed in yeasts. As monoterpenoids are in contact with yeasts during beer and wine production, biotransformation reactions may occur during the fermentation of these beverages. This paper describes the biotransformation of monoterpene alcohols, of significance in the alcoholic beverage industries, by three yeast species. All three species analysed had the ability to convert monoterpenoids. Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Kluyveromyces lactis reduced geraniol into citronellol, whilst all three yeasts produced linalool from both geraniol and nerol. Monocyclic alpha-terpineol was formed from both linalool and nerol, by all three yeasts. alpha-Terpineol was then converted into the diol cis-terpin hydrate. K. lactis and Torulaspora delbrueckii also had the ability to form geraniol from nerol. Finally, the stereospecificity of terpenoid formation was analysed. Both (+) and (-) enantiomers of linalool and alpha-terpineol were formed in roughly equal quantities, from either geraniol or nerol.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-506
Number of pages8
JournalYeast (Chichester, England)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • Yeasts
  • Terpenes
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Cyclohexenes
  • Biotransformation
  • Monoterpenes
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Kluyveromyces
  • Species Specificity
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae

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