The effect of fungicides on yeast communities associated with grape berries


  • Editor: Teun Boekhout

Correspondence: Neža Čadež, Department of Food Science and Technology, Biotechnical faculty, University of Ljubljana, Jamnikarjeva, Ljubljana 1000, Slovenia. Tel.: +386 1 423 11 61; fax: +386 1 257 40 92; e-mail:


The influence of three commonly used fungicides (iprodione, pyrimethanil and fludioxonil plus cyprodinil) on the density and diversity of yeast populations present on grape berries was evaluated. At the time of harvest, the fungicide residues on grapes were below the maximum permitted levels. In general, larger yeast counts were found on the treated grapes than on the control samples. Among 23 species identified, Cryptococcus magnus, Rhodotorula glutinis and Sporidiobolus pararoseus dominated on sound grape berries. The results showed that the tested fungicides had only a minor impact on the composition of grape berry communities in comparison with the effect of weather conditions and the mode of grape berry sampling. Halo assays using filter discs loaded with fungicides were used as in vitro tests of the sensitivity of grape berry isolates. The fungicide containing pyrimethanil suppressed the growth of all basidiomycetous yeast species, while the sporadically occurring fermentative yeasts were unaffected. Fungicides with fludioxonil plus cyprodinil and iprodione as active substances showed specificity for certain species. Our results suggest that after the safety interval, the presence of fungicides has a minor impact on the composition of grape berry communities, although at the time of fungicide applications, the yeast species composition changes.