UNAM Seminar: “Molecular Technologies in Wine Production”, Irina Mitina, 11:00AM December 18 (EN)

You are cordially invited to UNAM Nanocolloquium seminars focusing on advancements in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology. The seminars bring us the most recent developments in these exciting fields. This week’s talk will be presented by Prof. Irina Mitina (Technical University of Moldova).

Nanocolloquium series
Title: Molecular technologies in wine production

Date: December 18, 2023 (Monday)
Time and Venue: 11:00 UNAM Conference Hall (SU-01)

Viticulture and winemaking in Moldova have a history of many centuries and are an inseparable part of life and culture of Moldovan people. The country is located between latitude 46-47˚, similar to other renowned wine regions in Europe, and has a climate favorable for the production of quality wine. In spite of the country’s small size (the area is ~33.8 km²), Moldova is among the top 20 largest wine producers and ranks 13th in terms of wine exports in the world. Essentially, wine production is a microbiological process where yeasts and bacteria play the key role. For example, Saccharomyces yeast convert grape sugars to ethanol during alcoholic fermentation, while lactic acid bacteria convert malic acid into lactic acid during malolactic fermentation. However, there are a lot of yeast and bacteria associated with grapes and wines, and not all of them are beneficial. Some species, even though capable of alcoholic or malolactic fermentations, produce various secondary metabolites with undesirable sensory qualities, thus behaving as ‘wine spoilers’. Early detection of such wine spoilers would allow winemakers to take quick decisions related to wine treatment. Traditionally, the methods of detection of wine spoilers included plating and colony count. Recently, DNA-based methods of detection and quantification of wine spoilage microorganisms have been developed. Some issues related to detection and quantification of the most common wine spoilers will be discussed in this talk.

Short Bio:
I am a molecular biology scientist currently working at the Technical University of Moldova on wine microbiology, in the national project “Improving of food quality and safety through biotechnology and food engineering”, bilateral research and innovation project TÜBİTAK- NARD (Türkiye — Moldova) “Detecting Minute Spoilage in Wine through a Handheld Device in the Field” and State University of Moldova on soil and plant associated microorganisms, in the national project “Long-term ex situ conservation of plant genetic resources in the Gene Bank using the methods of molecular biology for plant germplasm health testing”. I completed my PhD in genetics in the Academy of Sciences of Moldova (2002) and had postdoctoral appointments at several universities, including University of California at Berkeley (USA), Seoul National University (South Korea), Universidad Andres Bello (Santiago, Chile). My research interests lie in the field of microbiome research, in particular how the microbiome composition can affect the quality of the final product.