Pichia subpelliculosa

Genus/species (aliases): Pichia Subpelliculosa (Hansenula subpelliculosa, Hansenula anomala, hansenula arabitolgenes, Wickerhamomyces subpelliculosa)

Classification: Ascomycete, teleomorph


  • Cell: Reproduces by budding at end of cells; ovoid, pseudohyphae or hyphae may be formed.
  • Colony: Malt agar:  White to cream colonies, pseudohyphae and/or septate hyphae (variable results), hat shaped ascospores, 1-4 per ascus.
  • Spore: Hat shaped.
  • Zygote: Diploid vegetative cell.
  • Ascus: Spherical to ellipsoidal with 1-4 spores; can be either persistent or evanescent.
  • Liquid Growth: Film can be formed.

Physiological Traits:

  • Fermentation: Glucose, Sucrose, Maltose, Cellobiose, Raffinose
  • Assimilation: Sucrose, Maltose, Trehalose, Raffinose, Glycerol, Erythriol, Mannitol, Glucitol, Succinate, Starch, Ethanol; Variable: Galactose, Ribose, Xylose, Arabinose, Cellobiose, Salicin, Arbutin, Melezitiose, Ribitol, Xylitol, Arabinitol, Lactate, Citrate: Assimilates both nitrate and nitrite; will use ethylamine, lysine and cadaverine as sole N sources; Variable for growth in vitamin-free medium, some strains require thiamin.
  • Growth: 37, 40 C: variable
  • Growth Sensitivities: Resistant to high salt and high sugar; not resistant to cycloheximide
  • Chromosome bands: 2 reported

Ecological Traits:

Common yeast found in air; found in wineries and vineyards.

Distinguishing Features:

Nuclear GC% = 33.9, See Physiological traits above.

Role in wine:

Can be considered a spoilage yeast but is not a strong fermenter; found in natural fermentations, especially cachaça (see references below).  Part of natural grape flora.


  • SO2: Not at 300ppm at pH 3.6
  • Sorbate­­­­: Not until 400 ppm under 8% NaCl.
  • DMDC: Not specifically tested -- likely sensitive at 60 ppm.
  • pH: Not inhibited by wine pH.
  • Acid: None found in wine.
  • Ethanol: No.
  • Anaerobiosis: No.
  • Heat: Not specifically tested


  • Schwan, Rosane Freitas; Medocnca, Alexandre T.; Silva, Joao Jose da Jr.; Rodrigues, Valeria; Wheals, Alan E.  Microbiology and physiology of Cachaça (Aguardente) fermentations. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. 79:89-96 (2001)
  • Oliveira, Evelyn Souza; Rosa,Carlos A.; Morgano, Marcelo Antonio; Serra, Gil Eduardo. Fermentation characteristics as criteria for selection of cachaça yeast. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 20:19-24 (2004)
  • Oliveria, Evelyn Souza; Cardello, Helena Maria Andre Bolini; Jeronimo, Elisangela Marques; Souza, Elson Luiz Rocha; Serra, Gil Eduardo. The influence of different yeasts on the fermentation, composition and sensory quality of cachaça. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 21:707-725 (2005)
  • Oliveria, Evelyn Souza; Rosa, Carlos A.; Morgano, Marcelo Antonio; Serra, Gil Eduardo. The Production of Volatile Compounds by Yeasts Isolated from Small Brazilian cachaça distilleries. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 21:1569-1576 (2006).