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Culture Collection

Yeast culture

The Enology Culture Collection, housed in the Department of Viticulture and Enology, is an extensive collection of wine yeast and bacteria from around the world. Strains are stored as live frozen cultures. It contains more than 2000 yeast strains and over 200 bacterial strains. Recently we have begun to add the important fungus Botrytis cinerea to the collection as well. Lucy Joseph manages the collection, under the direction of Professor Linda F. Bisson with consultation from Dr. David Mills and Dr. R.E. Kunkee. This collection has been in the Viticulture and Enology Department since the 1930’s and was originally derived from Professor Cruess’ yeast collection in the University of California’s Fruit Products Division. It has been supplemented over the years by the collection and research activities of several distinguished members of the department, including Maynard Amerine, John Castor, John Ingraham, Ralph Kunkee, Linda Bisson, and David Mills. The collection also contains genetically manipulated strains derived from the research of Linda Bisson, R.E. Kunkee and Richard Snow of the Department of Genetics. The collection is the only one of its kind in the United States. It has served as a valuable resource for the wine industry in California for many years. Currently many of our requests for strains come from outside the United States. We have expanded the collection recently to contain more spoilage organisms important to the wine and beverage industry. Dr. Mills has been instrumental in expanding the bacterial portion of the collection.


This collection is unique in its focus on a number of species that are key to the traditional commercial fermentation industries of wine, beer, and bread production. Unlike most collections, which focus on a broad array of organisms with an emphasis on diversity, this collection has a large number of isolates of a few species and provides a “depth” which is particularly suited to evolutionary studies. When searching the database it is often useful to search categories other than genus and species. Over 70% of the entire collection is Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Of the yeast in the collection 80% are Saccharomyces species. Of the bacteria in the collection 36% are Oenococcus oeni strains. Non-patented and non-proprietary strains are distributed worldwide. A fee for processing strains is assessed on a sliding scale. To inquire about strain availability and cost contact the curator Lucy Joseph at cmjoseph@ucdavis.edu.


In order to obtain a strain you must agree to a material transfer agreement:
You can download the form(s) here.


MTA Agreement

RLA Agreement




Click here to search the collection