Simultaneous co-fermentation of mixed sugars: a promising strategy for producing cellulosic ethanol.
ABSTRACT The lack of microbial strains capable of fermenting all sugars prevalent in plant cell wall hydrolyzates to ethanol is a major challenge. Although naturally existing or engineered microorganisms can ferment mixed sugars (glucose, xylose and galactose) in these hydrolyzates sequentially, the preferential utilization of glucose to non-glucose sugars often results in lower overall yield and productivity of ethanol. Therefore, numerous metabolic engineering approaches have been attempted to construct optimal microorganisms capable of co-fermenting mixed sugars simultaneously. Here, we present recent findings and breakthroughs in engineering yeast for improved ethanol production from mixed sugars. In particular, this review discusses new sugar transporters, various strategies for simultaneous co-fermentation of mixed sugars, and potential applications of co-fermentation for producing fuels and chemicals.
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ABSTRACT: The production of bioethanol from lignocellulosic feedstocks will only become economically feasible when the majority of cellulosic and hemicellulosic biopolymers can be efficiently converted into bioethanol. The main component of cellulose is glucose, whereas hemicelluloses mainly consist of pentose sugars such as D-xylose and L-arabinose. The genomes of filamentous fungi such as A. nidulans encode a multiplicity of sugar transporters with broad affinities for hexose and pentose sugars. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which has a long history of use in industrial fermentation processes, is not able to efficiently transport or metabolize pentose sugars (e.g. xylose). Subsequently, the aim of this study was to identify xylose-transporters from A. nidulans, as potential candidates for introduction into S. cerevisiae in order to improve xylose utilization. In this study, we identified the A. nidulans xtrD (xylose transporter) gene, which encodes a Major Facilitator Superfamily (MFS) transporter, and which was specifically induced at the transcriptional level by xylose in a XlnR-dependent manner, while being partially repressed by glucose in a CreA-dependent manner. We evaluated the ability of xtrD to functionally complement the S. cerevisiae EBY.VW4000 strain which is unable to grow on glucose, fructose, mannose or galactose as single carbon source. In S. cerevisiae, XtrD was targeted to the plasma membrane and its expression was able to restore growth on xylose, glucose, galactose, and mannose as single carbon sources, indicating that this transporter accepts multiple sugars as a substrate. XtrD has a high affinity for xylose, and may be a high affinity xylose transporter. We were able to select a S. cerevisiae mutant strain that had increased xylose transport when expressing the xtrD gene. This study characterized the regulation and substrate specificity of an A. nidulans transporter that represents a good candidate for further directed mutagenesis. Investigation into the area of sugar transport in fungi presents a crucial step for improving the S. cerevisiae xylose metabolism. Moreover, we have demonstrated that the introduction of adaptive mutations beyond the introduced xylose utilization genes is able to improve S. cerevisiae xylose metabolism.Biotechnology for Biofuels 04/2014; 7(1):46. · 5.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study explores the separate recovery of sugars and phenolic oligomers produced during fast pyrolysis with the effective removal of contaminants from the separated pyrolytic sugars to produce a substrate suitable for fermentation without hydrolysis. The first two stages from a unique recovery system capture “heavy ends”, mostly water-soluble sugars and water-insoluble phenolic oligomers. The differences in water solubility can be exploited to recover a sugar-rich aqueous phase and a phenolic-rich raffinate. Over 93 wt % of the sugars is removed in two water washes. These sugars contain contaminants such as low-molecular-weight acids, furans, and phenols that could inhibit successful fermentation. Detoxification methods were used to remove these contaminants from pyrolytic sugars. The optimal candidate is NaOH overliming, which results in maximum growth measurements with the use of ethanol-producing Escherichia coli.ChemSusChem 04/2014; · 7.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Conversion of lignocellulosic material to ethanol is a major challenge in second generation bio-fuel production by yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This report describes a novel strategy named "two-stage transcriptional reprogramming (TSTR)" in which key gene expression at both glucose and xylose fermentation phases is optimized in engineered S. cerevisiae. Through a combined genome-wide screening of stage-specific promoters and the balancing of the metabolic flux, ethanol yields and productivity from mixed sugars were significantly improved. In a medium containing 50g/L glucose and 50g/L xylose, the top-performing strain WXY12 rapidly consumed glucose within 12h and within 84h it consistently achieved an ethanol yield of 0.48g/g total sugar, which was 94% of the theoretical yield. WXY12 utilizes a KGD1 inducible promoter to drive xylose metabolism, resulting in much higher ethanol yield than a reference strain using a strong constitutive PGK1 promoter. These promising results validate the TSTR strategy by synthetically regulating the xylose assimilation pathway towards efficient xylose fermentation.Metabolic Engineering 05/2014; · 6.86 Impact Factor