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Chapter 9 - The genomics of wine-making

Analysis of gene expression

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Nello Cristianini
Affiliation:
University of Bristol
Matthew W. Hahn
Affiliation:
Indiana University, Bloomington
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Summary

Chateau Hajji Feruz Tepe

In 1985 the world's most expensive bottle of wine was sold at auction for $160,000. This bottle of 1787 Chateau Lafite came from the cellar of Thomas Jefferson (third president of the United States) and was apparently purchased during his time as ambassador to France. While Jefferson's Bordeaux is undoubtedly an historic artifact (and probably undrinkable), the oldest bottle of wine dates to 5000 BC from the site of Hajji Feruz Tepe in Iran. This 9-liter clay pot did not contain any liquid when found, but still had dried residue from the wine it once held.

  • Gene expression data

  • Types of DNA microarrays

  • Data clustering and visualization

  • Expression during the cell Cycle

The recipe for making wine and other fermented beverages has not changed much in the past 7000 years. A solution rich in sugars (usually fruit juice) is turned into the alcoholic nectar we consume by exploiting a remarkable organism: the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This unicellular fungus extracts energy from the environment by fermenting sugars, a process which produces alcohol as a by-product. Because S. cerevisiae is found naturally on grapevines, wine making is as easy as crushing grapes and putting them into a tightly sealed container for a few months. During this time yeast transforms the sugars contained in grape juice into alcohol, and this is why your wine is so much less sweet (and more alcoholic) than the grape juice it started from.

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Chapter
Information
Introduction to Computational Genomics
A Case Studies Approach
, pp. 141 - 158
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

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