University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen (Denmark)

Geochemistry plays a major role in understanding the microbial community structure of soils. The focus of the Ph.D. is to further develop and apply cutting edge X-ray fluorescence techniques in order to profile the elemental composition of the soil from directly around the vines from which metagenomic communities will be analysed.

University of Zaragoza (Spain) (6 months in DLR-RLP)

The different odor and flavor nuances of a wine are caused by between 25 and 50 different odor chemicals present at concentrations above olfactory thresholds. The final flavor perception is the result of a subtle perceptual balance between the primary sensory outputs triggered by those molecules in the olfactory, taste and trigeminal receptors.

University of Warwick, England

Phylloxera is a hemipteran pest of grape vines world-wide that spread from eastern North America in the late 19th Century. In response, many wine producing varieties are grafted to native North American root stocks which are resistant to the pest. This project is concerned with investigating the evolutionary consequences of grafting on wine varieties over the past century, both in the relaxation of selection for pest resistance on the wine plant and adaptation to the grafted condition.

INRA, Montpellier (France)

Quality of wine is the result of complex and finely regulated interactions between plant genetics, environmental conditions and microbial communities. In this PhD project we aim to assess the relative importance of these different factors and their interactions.

University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen (Denmark)

Metagenomic analysis of wine and associated environments faces a number of technical challenges, ranging from the extraction of DNA at low concentrations, overcoming likely DNA damage, purification of challenging inhibitors and so on.

Aarhus University, Roskilde (Denmark)

Microbes in soil are key players soil health and function. In wine fields these microbes contribute to plant growth and uptake of nutrients important for grape ripening and carbohydrate composition. Microbes in both soil and grapes can therefore contribute to the regional and microregional characteristics of wines, even the illusive terroir.

Aarhus University, Roskilde, Denmark

Soil and plant associated microbes that influence plant health in many ways. In this PhD project we compare soil and plant microbiota between healthy and sick plants to learn about interactions between the protective and infective microbial agents in wine agriculture. A targeted effort will be made to find microbiological cures for known wine pests (e.g. Phyloxera). We will follow the impact of using Bio-pesticides on the microbial community using Illumina sequencing.

Dienstleistungszentrum Ländlicher Raum – Rheinpfalz (Germany, 12 months; UC Davis, USA, 3 months); Chr. Hansen (Denmark)

To conduct fermentation for winemaking either selected and commercially available yeast strains are inoculated or a spontaneous fermentation awaits the onset of fermentation without adding any yeast culture. Most scientific findings report for the latter approach a dominance of yeast strains originating from the cellar in contradiction to the common belief that vineyard derived microbiome is responsible for spontaneous fermentations.

University of Bordeaux

Lactic acid bacteria present in the winery’s environment may develop spontaneously in wine during or after the alcoholic fermentation and perform the malolactic fermentation (MLF), which improves the overall wine quality. Oenococcus oeni is the best-adapted species and often the only one detected during MLF. Several strains are present simultaneously in wine and the same strains may be detected in the same winery during several consecutive years. Population studies suggest that O.

Universidad Nacional de La Plata (Argentina)

Wine grapes harbor a wide range of microbes originating from the surrounding environment, many of which are recognized for their role in grapevine health and wine quality. In the sixteenth century, the Vitis vinifera was introduced to America. In the “new world” the Vitis cultivars are cultivated in diverse enviroment.

Escola Superior de Biotecnologia – Catholic University of Portugal / CBQF, Porto, Portugal

The combination of high acidity and ethanol content makes the post fermentation, wine environment highly selective with only very few species of yeast and (mainly) lactic acid bacteria (LAB) able to interact with the medium. However post vinification microbial processes (malo-lactic fermentation and, where it occurs, spoilage) can profoundly effect the chemical composition of wine that can impact on the quality of the final product.

Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Lisbon (Portugal)

The available evidence points to a dark future for viticulture (and subsequently for the wine industry) in what esca is concerned. Infection of vine wood with Phaeomoniella chlamydospora (Pch) leads to externally asymptomatic plants, yet capable of disseminating the disease. The subsequent entry of saprophytic fungi condemns the vine to an early death.

Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark

Data collected within the different MICROWINE projects will be plenty and complex. In order to facilitate downstream analysis of the role of microbial diversity and the functional differences of the microbial communities in wine fermentation, wine quality and wine health, this PhD project will develop new tools that will address many of the unique challenges of microbiome systems biology.

VU University Amsterdam, Nederlands

Next-generation sequencing generates data at metagenome levels, but requires advanced integrative bioinformatics and modeling to turn the data into physiological knowledge of the interacting species. In this project, we will develop workflows and software tools to integrate the data from the MICROWINE partners into models of the eco-level physiology of the communities under study.

Inria & University of Lyon, France

Fungi and microbial communities symbiotically associated to vine plants not only help to promote productivity and health of the plants, but may also play an important role in modulating the quality of the wine that is produced. The extend of the influence of such communities remains however very much an open problem, as does the question of which molecular processes underly the crosstalk between the partners in the symbiosis and may help explain such influence.

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