Krista Sumby

Dr Krista Sumby

Postdoctoral Researcher

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Faculty of Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Dr. Krista Sumby is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, in the ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production, at the University of Adelaide. Her current research is the development of new yeast and bacteria to make more interesting wine.

Traditional winemaking practises rely on un-inoculated fermentations, in which yeast and bacteria naturally present on grapes are responsible for the bioconversion of grape juice to wine. Whilst these ‘wild’ fermentations are becoming increasingly popular (almost 10% of premium Australian wines made this way), they can be fraught in terms of reliability and production of undesirable traits. Therefore, most winemakers rely on a commercial “workhorses” a yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and a bacteria (Oenococcus oeni), which are added to juice as a pure starter culture. This ensures reliable and timely completion of fermentation. However, some wines made this way are regarded as lacking complexity and characteristic aroma and flavours. The alternative, un-inoculated fermentations, are essentially a “gamble” by winemakers due to their inherent unpredictability. This risk is mitigated by increasing the organoleptic properties of premium wines, adding complexity and mouthfeel.

Most people may notice some varieties taste acidic, but may not know that all wines contain not just ethanol but a low pH (acidic). This is an environment that is difficult for microorganisms to survive in and is why only a limited number of them can contribute to fermentation. Wine conditions are also highly variable and often there is year to year variation in the outcomes of un-inoculated fermentations. The solution to the “gamble” of un-inoculated fermentation is to use different yeast species (non-Saccharomyces) and alternative bacteria (e.g. Lactobacillius sp.) that are present naturally at the start of fermentation but improve their tolerance to these harsh wine conditions.

Dr. Sumby has been awarded various awards, including The Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence (2013), The Harold Woolhouse Prize for The Best PhD Thesis in The Faculty of Sciences (2013) and the Postgraduate Alumni University Medal (2014).

My background is in microbiology and genetics of wine yeast and lactic acid bacteria (LAB). I am part of the Wine Microbiology group undertaking research into yeast and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) both at a fundamental level and in the context of winemaking. 

Current project:

  • Defining and exploiting the indigenous microflora of grapes
  • Directed evolution of more robust non-Saccharomyces yeast strains for completion of alcoholic fermentation
  • Directed evolution of superior LAB for quicker and more reliable malolactic fermentation

Past projects:

  • Directed evolution of yeast and lactic acid bacteria "Wine Australia funded project"
  • Characterisation of esterase's from lactic acid bacteria and their potential for use in winemaking

Projects involving supervision of HDR students include:

  • Isolation and characterisation of improved lactic acid bacteria strains for optimised malolactic fermentation performance
  • Exploiting the secondary metabolism of lactic acid bacteria
  • Isolation and characterisation of yeast with novel biotechnological properties for use in winemaking
  • Identification and understanding of Saccharomyces and Oenococcus oeni interactions, in co-inoculated fermentations, for development of robust inoculation pairs in wine production

For more information go to;

 

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2018 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2014 - 2018 Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Adelaide
    2013 - 2013 Casual Technician, Wine Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology Laboratory University of Adelaide
    2007 - 2013 Practical demonstrator, Microbiology and Invertebrate Biology II University of Adelaide
    2007 - 2013 Practical demonstrator, Microbiology for Viticulture and Oenology II University of Adelaide
    2001 - 2003 Technical Officer Fonterra Research Centre
    2001 - 2001 Casual Technician Environmental Science and Research Ltd
    2000 - 2001 Practical demonstrator, Biotechnology III University of Canterbury
    2000 - 2001 Practical demonstrator, Microbiology II University of Canterbury
    2000 - 2001 Practical demonstrator, Microbiology III University of Canterbury
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2016 Award Best Poster in Oenology-Microbiology 16th AWITC Australia
    2014 Recognition Postgraduate Alumni University Medal University of Adelaide
    2013 Award The Harold Woolhouse Prize for The Best PhD Thesis in The Faculty of Sciences University of Adelaide
    2013 Recognition Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence University of Adelaide
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2007 - 2013 University of Adelaide Australia PhD
    1999 - 2001 University of Canterbury New Zealand MSc (1st Hons Microbiology)
    1996 - 1998 University of Canterbury New Zealand BSc
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    2016 Provide First Aid Course St John Ambulance Australia
  • Research Interests

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  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2021 Sumby, K. M., Caliani, N. S., & Jiranek, V. (2021). Yeast diversity in the vineyard: how it is defined, measured and influenced by fungicides. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 27(2), 169-193.
    DOI
    2021 Virdis, C., Sumby, K., Bartowsky, E., & Jiranek, V. (2021). Lactic acid bacteria in wine: technological advances and evaluation of their functional role. Frontiers in Microbiology, 11, 1-16.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS6 Europe PMC3
    2021 Walker, M. E., Zhang, J., Sumby, K. M., Lee, A., Houlès, A., Li, S., & Jiranek, V. (2021). Sulfate transport mutants affect hydrogen sulfide and sulfite production during alcoholic fermentation. Yeast, 38(6), 367-381.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS2
    2021 Bartle, L., Peltier, E., Sundstrom, J. F., Sumby, K., Mitchell, J. G., Jiranek, V., & Marullo, P. (2021). QTL mapping: an innovative method for investigating the genetic determinism of yeast-bacteria interactions in wine. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 105(12), 5053-5066.
    DOI Scopus1
    2021 Xu, Z., Walker, M. E., Zhang, J., Gardner, J. M., Sumby, K. M., & Jiranek, V. (2021). Exploring the diversity of bacteriophage specific to Oenococcus oeni and Lactobacillus spp and their role in wine production. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 105(23), 8575-8592.
    DOI
    2021 Lin, M. M. -H., Boss, P. K., Walker, M. E., Sumby, K. M., & Jiranek, V. (2021). Influence of Kazachstania spp. on the chemical and sensory profile of red wines. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 109496.
    DOI
    2020 Alperstein, L., Gardner, J. M., Sundstrom, J. F., Sumby, K. M., & Jiranek, V. (2020). Yeast bioprospecting versus synthetic biology–which is better for innovative beverage fermentation?. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 104(5), 1939-1953.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS6 Europe PMC1
    2019 Sumby, K. M., Niimi, J., Betteridge, A. L., & Jiranek, V. (2019). Ethanol-tolerant lactic acid bacteria strains as a basis for efficient malolactic fermentation in wine: evaluation of experimentally evolved lactic acid bacteria and winery isolates. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 25(4), 404-413.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS3
    2019 Lin, M. M. -H., Boss, P. K., Walker, M. E., Sumby, K. M., Grbin, P. R., & Jiranek, V. (2019). Evaluation of indigenous non-Saccharomyces yeasts isolated from a South Australian vineyard for their potential as wine starter cultures. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 312, 108373.
    DOI Scopus15 WoS15 Europe PMC2
    2019 Sumby, K. M., Bartle, L., Grbin, P. R., & Jiranek, V. (2019). Measures to improve wine malolactic fermentation. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 103(5), 2033-2051.
    DOI Scopus29 WoS28 Europe PMC6
    2019 Bartle, L., Sumby, K., Sundstrom, J., & Jiranek, V. (2019). The microbial challenge of winemaking: yeast-bacteria compatibility. FEMS Yeast Research, 19(4), foz040-1-foz040-16.
    DOI Scopus16 WoS16 Europe PMC4
    2018 Betteridge, A., Sumby, K., Sundstrom, J., Grbin, P., & Jiranek, V. (2018). Application of directed evolution to develop ethanol tolerant Oenococcus oeni for more efficient malolactic fermentation. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 102(2), 921-932.
    DOI Scopus18 WoS15 Europe PMC7
    2018 Jiang, J., Sumby, K., Sundstrom, J., Grbin, P., & Jiranek, V. (2018). Directed evolution of Oenococcus oeni strains for more efficient malolactic fermentation in a multi-stressor wine environment. Food Microbiology, 73, 150-159.
    DOI Scopus13 WoS12 Europe PMC1
    2014 Sumby, K., Grbin, P., & Jiranek, V. (2014). Implications of new research and technologies for malolactic fermentation in wine. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 98(19), 8111-8132.
    DOI Scopus51 WoS48 Europe PMC17
    2013 Sumby, K., Jiranek, V., & Grbin, P. (2013). Ester synthesis and hydrolysis in an aqueous environment, and strain specific changes during malolactic fermentation in wine with Oenococcus oeni. Food Chemistry, 141(3), 1673-1680.
    DOI Scopus32 WoS27 Europe PMC10
    2013 Sumby, K., Grbin, P., & Jiranek, V. (2013). Characterization of EstCOo8 and EstC34, intracellular esterases, from the wine-associated lactic acid bacteria Oenococcus oeni and Lactobacillus hilgardii. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 114(2), 413-422.
    DOI Scopus24 WoS22 Europe PMC10
    2012 Sumby, K., Grbin, P., & Jiranek, V. (2012). Validation of the use of multiple internal control genes, and the application of real-time quantitative PCR, to study esterase gene expression in Oenococcus oeni. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 96(4), 1039-1047.
    DOI Scopus22 WoS18 Europe PMC12
    2010 Donkin, R., Robinson, S., Sumby, K., Harris, V., McBryde, C., & Jiranek, V. (2010). Sodium chloride in Australian grape juice and its effect on alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 61(3), 392-400.
    Scopus7 WoS6
    2010 Sumby, K., Grbin, P., & Jiranek, V. (2010). Microbial modulation of aromatic esters in wine: Current knowledge and future prospects. Food Chemistry, 121(1), 1-16.
    DOI Scopus309 WoS277 Europe PMC91
    2009 Sumby, K., Matthews, A., Grbin, P., & Jiranek, V. (2009). Cloning and characterization of an intracellular esterase from the wine-associated lactic acid bacterium Oenococcus oeni. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 75(21), 6729-6735.
    DOI Scopus44 WoS44 Europe PMC25
    2004 Klena, J. D., Parker, C. T., Knibb, K., Claire Ibbitt, J., Devane, P. M. L., Horn, S. T., . . . Konkel, M. E. (2004). Differentiation of Campylobacter coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter lari, and Campylobacter upsaliensis by a multiplex PCR developed from the nucleotide sequence of the lipid A gene lpxA. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 42(12), 5549-5557.
    DOI Scopus134 WoS140 Europe PMC89
    2004 Klena, J. D., Parker, C. T., Knibb, K., Claire Ibbitt, J., Devane, P. M. L., Horn, S. T., . . . Konkel, M. E. (2004). Differentiation of Campylobacter coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter lari, and Campylobacter upsaliensis by a multiplex PCR developed from the nucleotide sequence of the lipid A gene lpxA. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 42(12), 5549-5557.
    DOI Scopus134 WoS140 Europe PMC89
    Bartle, L., Peltier, E., Sundstrom, J., Sumby, K., Mitchell, J. G., Jiranek, V., & Marullo, P. (n.d.). QTL mapping: an innovative method for investigating the genetic determinism of yeast-bacteria interactions in wine.
    DOI
  • Conference Papers

    Year Citation
    2015 Jiranek, V., Liccioli, T., Betteridge, A., Sumby, K., Walker, M., Gardner, J., & Sundstrom, J. (2015). Generation and characterisation of improved wine microbes. In Proceedings of the 10th international symposium of enology of Bordeaux (pp. 163-166). Bordeaux, France: Vigne et Vin Publications Internationales.
    2015 Jiranek, V., Liccioli, T., Betteridge, A., Sumby, K., Walker, M., Gardner, J., & Sundstrom, J. (2015). Generation and characterisation of improved wine microbes. In Proceedings of the 10th international symposium of enology of Bordeaux (pp. 163-166). Bordeaux, France: Vigne et Vin Publications Internationales.
    Bartle, L., Sumby, K., Sundstrom, J., Mitchell, J. G., & Jiranek, V. (n.d.). LBartle_AWITC_2019_v8.pdf.
    DOI
  • Conference Items

    Year Citation
    2019 Sumby, K. M., & Jiranek, V. (2019). Defining and Exploiting the Indigenous Microflora of Grapes. Poster session presented at the meeting of 17th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference..
    2017 Bartle, L., Sundstrom, J., Sumby, K., Mitchell, J., & Jiranek, V. (2017). Compatibility of industrial Saccharomyces uvarum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae with Oenococcus oeni during synthetic red juice fermentation.. Poster session presented at the meeting of International Conference on Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology (ICYGMB). Prague.
    2017 Bartle, L., Sundstrom, J., Sumby, K., Mitchell, J., & Jiranek, V. (2017). Compatibility of industrial Saccharomyces uvarum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae with Oenococcus oeni during synthetic red juice fermentation.. Poster session presented at the meeting of International Conference on Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology (ICYGMB). Prague.
    2017 Jiang, J., Sumby, K. M., Sundstrom, J., Grbin, P., & Jiranek, V. (2017). Directed evolution of Oenococcus oeni for enhanced malolactic fermentation.. Poster session presented at the meeting of 12th International Symposium on Lactic Acid Bacteria. Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands.
    2017 Jiang, J., Sumby, K. M., Sundstrom, J., Grbin, P., & Jiranek, V. (2017). Directed evolution of Oenococcus oeni for enhanced malolactic fermentation.. Poster session presented at the meeting of 12th International Symposium on Lactic Acid Bacteria. Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands.
    2016 Jiang, J., Betteridge, A., Sumby, K. M., Sundstrom, J., Grbin, P., & Jiranek, V. (2016). Oenococcus oeni: can we improve its malolactic fermentation performance?. Poster session presented at the meeting of 16th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference. Adelaide.
    2016 Jiang, J., Betteridge, A., Sumby, K. M., Sundstrom, J., Grbin, P., & Jiranek, V. (2016). Oenococcus oeni: can we improve its malolactic fermentation performance?. Poster session presented at the meeting of 16th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference. Adelaide.
    2016 Sumby, K. M., Grbin, P. R., & Jiranek, V. (2016). More efficient malolactic fermentation by directed evolution of Lactobacillus plantarum. Poster session presented at the meeting of Poster AWITC. Adelaide.
    2016 Sumby, K. M., Grbin, P. R., & Jiranek, V. (2016). More efficient malolactic fermentation by directed evolution of Lactobacillus plantarum.. Poster session presented at the meeting of 16th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference.
    2013 Sundstrom, J. F., Gardner, J., Sumby, K., Oliver, S., & Jiranek, V. (2013). Investigating the effect of quorum signalling molecules on wine yeast strains and their impact on alcoholic fermentation. Poster session presented at the meeting of http://www.ayeastgroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/YPD2013-proceedings.pdf. Massey University, Albany, Auckland, New Zealand.
    2013 Sumby, K. M., Grbin, P. R., & Jiranek, V. (2013). Characterisation of intracellular esterases from Oenococcus oeni and Lactobacillus hillgardii and their potential for application in wine. Poster session presented at the meeting of 15th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference, information and abstracts. Sydney, N.S.W..
  • Report for External Bodies

    Year Citation
    2017 Walker, M., Sumby, K. M., Gardner, J., Sundstrom, J., Watson, T., Grbin, P., & Jiranek, V. (2017). Fit-for-Purpose Yeast and Bacteria via Directed Evolution.
  • Theses

    Year Citation
    2013 Sumby, K. M. (2013). Molecular and Biochemical Characterisation of Esterases from Oenococcus oeni and Their Potential For Application In Wine.. (PhD Thesis).
    2001 Knibb, K. M. (2001). Development of Rapid Detection and Identification Methods for Thermotolerant Campylobacter spp.. (Master's Thesis, University of Canterbury).
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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 Principal Supervisor Defining and Exploiting the Indigenous Microflora of Grapes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Natalia Soledad Caliani
    2020 Co-Supervisor The influence of sulfur compounds on yeast, bacteria and mixed cultures of these in oenology Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Emily Hocking
    2019 Co-Supervisor Lactic Acid Bacteria as biocatalysts/enzymes for wine making Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Carla Virdis
    2019 Co-Supervisor Bioprospecting for Lactic Acid Bacteria in Novel Australian Niches Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Scott Allen Oliphant
    2019 Co-Supervisor Isolation and Characterisation of Yeasts with Biotechnological Properties Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Mandy Lin
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2016 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Identification and Understanding of Saccharomyces and Oenococcus Interactions in Wine Fermentation Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Louise Joyce Bartle
    2013 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Use of Directed Evolution to Generate Multiple-stress Tolerant Oenococcus oeni for Enhanced Malolactic Fermentation Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Jiao Jiang
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - 2019 Principal Supervisor Identification and characterisation of yeast from the vineyard The University of Adelaide Applied Biology Student placement Other Part Time Evdoxia Lagonik
    2018 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Investigating a more reliable system for genetic manipulation in Oenococcus oeni The University of Adelaide Applied Biology Student placement Other Part Time Thu-Nghy Do
    2016 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Developing new starter cultures of lactic acid bacteria for co-inoculation and sequential malolactic fermentation in high alcohol wine The University of Adelaide Master of Viticulture & Oenology Other Full Time Yin Liu
    2016 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Selecting New Malolactic Fermentation Starter Cultures The University of Adelaide Master of Viticulture & Oenology Other Full Time Xingwei Mi
  • Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Phone: 83130402
  • Email: krista.sumby@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 7415
  • Campus: Waite
  • Building: Wine Innovation Central, floor 3
  • Room: 3 28
  • Org Unit: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

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