Pichia anomala

Genus/speciesPichia anomala (Candida pelliculosa, anamorph; former genus/species Hansenula anomala; synonymsHansenula miso, Hansenula javanica,Hansenula lambica, Saccharomyces anomalus Willia anomala, Endomyces anomalus, Wickerhamomyces anomalus.

Classification: Ascomycete, teleomorph


  • Cell: Reproduction by budding; spheroidal to elongate (1.9-4.1)X(2.1-6.1)µm singly, pairs, small clusters; ovoid, ellipsoidal, or cylindrical, multilateral budding. No true hyphae. Pseudohyphae may form as chains of ovoid or cylindroidal cells.
  • Colony: Malt agar: Butyrous, tan in color
  • WL: cream-color, flat, smooth, creamy
  • Spore: Form one to four hat-shaped ascospores
  • Zygote: Diploid cells convert directly to asci.
  • Ascus: When formed, contains one to four hat-shaped spores, converted directly from sporogenous cells; asci are evanescent
  • Liquid Growth: Pellicle, varies from thin/smooth to thick/folded.
Pichia anomala Pichia anomala Pichia anomala Pichia anomala

Physiological Traits:

  • Fermentation: Glucose, Sucrose, sometimes Galactose, Maltose.
  • Assimilation sucrose, cellobiose, trehalose, raffinose, melezitose, soluble starch, ethanol, glycerol, erythritol, D-mannitol, D-glucitol, a-methyl-D-glucoside, salicin, DL-Lactate, succinate, citrate; some strains will use propanol or butanol as sole C source; variable assimilation of nitrate, nitrite, ethylamine, lysine, cadaverine, as sole N source; will grow in vitamin-free media
  • Growth: 37 C: variable
  • Growth Sensitivities: 10% NaCL: +; variable growth at 16% NaCl and at high glucose concentrations; sensitive to cycloheximide
  • Chromosome bands: 2-4

Exhibits negative crabtree effect. Produces ethanol under anaerobiosis; acetate under respiratory and respirofermentative growth. Production of ethyl acetate from glucose under oxygen limitation, also other small volatiles, e.g., ethyl propanoate, phenyl ethanol, and 2-phenylethyl acetate. Produces glycerol, arabinitol, and trehalose under osmotic stress and oxygen limitation. High osmotolerance, tolerance to low pH (Passoth et al. 2006).

Ecological Traits:

Fermentation contaminant, soil, grain, ensilage, water, plants (especially fruits and fermenting matter), sewage, warm blooded animals (Kurtzman 1998).

Distinguishing Features:

Distinguished from some other strains of Pichia (Hansenula) by high osmotolerance, ferments sucrose, assimilates raffinose, not L-rhamnose (Kurtzman 1998).

Role in wine:

Normal grape flora, active in early fermentation (Renouf et al. 2007). Present in Botrytis infected fruit (Mills et al. 2002). InhibitsBotrytis cinerea. Can spoil wine by excessive acetic acid and ethyl acetate production (Plata et al. 2003), pellicle formation, and acid metabolism (increasing pH). Effective biocontrol agent of mold on grapes/grapevine (Fleet 2003). Can produce killer factor effective against Dekkera/Brettanomyces spp. (Comitini et al. 2004)

P. anomala contributes positively to the wine aroma by the production of volatile compounds, mainly ethyl acetate, but probably also by the production of glycosidases and xylosidases


  • SO2: +
  • Sorbate: +
  • DMDC: +
  • pH: –
  • Ethanol: –
  • Anaerobiosis: –
  • Heat: –


  • Charoenchai C, Fleet G, Henschke PA. 1998. Effects of temperature, pH and sugar concentration on the growth rates and cell biomass of wine yeasts, American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 49:283–288.
  • Comitini F, Ingeniis De J, Pepe L, Mannazzu I, Maurizio C. 2004. FEMS Microbiology Letters 238:235-240.
  • Fleet G. 2003. Yeast interactions and wine flavour. International Journal of Food Microbiology 86:11-22.
  • Fredlund, Elisabeth, U Druvefors, M.E. Boysen, K.J. Lingsten, J. Schnurer.  Physiological characteristics of the biocontrol yeast Pichia anomoala J121.  2002. FEMS Yeast Research 2: 395-402.
  • Kurtzman CP. 1998. Pichia E.C. Hansen emend. In: Kurtzman CP, Fell JW, eds. The Yeasts, A Taxonomic Study. New York: Elsevier.
  • Mills DA, Johansen EA, Cocolin L. 2002. Yeast diversity and persistence in Botrytis-affected wine fermentations. Applied Environmental Microbiology 68:4884–4893.
  • Passoth V, Fredlund E, Druvors UA, Schnurer J. 2006. Biotechnology, physiology and genetics of the yeast Pichia anomalaFEMS Yeast Research 6:3-13.
  • Plata C, Millan C, Mauricio JC, Ortega JM. 2003. Formation of ethyl acetate and isoamyl acetate by various species of wine yeasts. Food Microbiology 20:217– 224.
  • Renouf V, Claisse O, Lonvaud-Funel A. 2007. Inventory and monitoring of wine microbial consortia. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 75:149-164.
  • Warth AD. 1985. Resistance of yeast species to benzoic and sorbic acids and to sulfur dioxide. Journal of Food Protection 48:564–569.