In recent years, the “Next Generation” DNA sequencing has revolutionised many areas of biology, including microbiology, in particular through conferring the ability to characterise microbes on the deep community scale, through both “shotgun” and “deep amplicon” sequencing approaches. MicroWine had for main objective exploiting the power of such approaches for the benefit of the wine industry. This 15 ESR Marie Curie Actions European Training Network was constructed as a close collaboration between industry and academic partners, around the theme of the role of the microbial community in the wine production process. Through combining microbial metagenomic sequencing with powerful algorithmic development and computation analyses, with metadata generated using techniques such as metabolomics and geochemistry, MicroWine studied the action of microbes from the plant protection and nutrition, through to wine fermentation process, using samples collected from both Europe and beyond. MicroWine further trained the ESRs within a wide range of relevant disciplines, and maximised information transfer through multiple host and academic-industry cosupervision and secondments. In this way, MicroWine contributed to the strength and scientific progress of the wine industry through training of a cohort of leading, interdisciplinary and tightly interconnected scientists at the forefront of modern microbiological, genomic, computational and related techniques.
The objectives of the PhD who was trained by the team within the MicroWine project was to develop the formal framework and computational methods that will enable to: (1) establish with greater certainty the effective role played by the fungi and microbial communities that may be found symbiotically associated to the vine plants, and the extent of this role on the quality of the wine using for this the data produced by the other partners and those available in the literature; (2) attempt to analyse and then model, notably at the metabolic and regulatory levels, the molecular processes that participate in the crosstalk between the communities and the plant host and may underlie such role; (3) if possible, try to establish in which way such processes could be bio-synthetically manipulated to improve this quality.