[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Redox-cofactor balancing constrains product yields in anaerobic fermentation processes. This challenge is exemplified by the formation of glycerol as major by-product in yeast-based bioethanol production, which is a direct consequence of the need to reoxidize excess NADH and causes a loss of conversion efficiency. Enabling the use of CO2 as electron acceptor for NADH oxidation in heterotrophic microorganisms would increase product yields in industrial biotechnology.
A hitherto unexplored strategy to address this redox challenge is the functional expression in yeast of enzymes from autotrophs, thereby enabling the use of CO2 as electron acceptor for NADH reoxidation. Functional expression of the Calvin cycle enzymes phosphoribulokinase (PRK) and ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (Rubisco) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae led to a 90% reduction of the by-product glycerol and a 10% increase in ethanol production in sugar-limited chemostat cultures on a mixture of glucose and galactose. Co-expression of the Escherichia coli chaperones GroEL and GroES was key to successful expression of CbbM, a form-II Rubisco from the chemolithoautotrophic bacterium Thiobacillus denitrificans in yeast.
Our results demonstrate functional expression of Rubisco in a heterotrophic eukaryote and demonstrate how incorporation of CO2 as a co-substrate in metabolic engineering of heterotrophic industrial microorganisms can be used to improve product yields. Rapid advances in molecular biology should allow for rapid insertion of this 4-gene expression cassette in industrial yeast strains to improve production, not only of 1st and 2nd generation ethanol production, but also of other renewable fuels or chemicals.
Biotechnology for Biofuels 08/2013; 6(1):125. · 5.55 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mixed populations of yeasts and lactic acid bacteria occur in many dairy, food and beverage fermentations, but knowledge about their interactions is incomplete. In the present study, interactions between Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, two microorganisms that co-occur in kefir fermentations, were studied during anaerobic growth on lactose. By combining physiological and transcriptome analysis of the two strains in the co-cultures, five mechanisms of interaction were identified. 1. Lb. bulgaricus hydrolyses lactose, which cannot be metabolized by S. cerevisiae, to galactose and glucose. Subsequently, galactose, which cannot be metabolized by Lb. bulgaricus, is excreted and provides a carbon source for yeast. 2. In pure cultures, Lb. bulgaricus only grows at increased CO2 concentrations. In anaerobic mixed cultures, the yeast provides this CO2 via alcoholic fermentation. 3. Analysis of amino acid consumption from the defined medium indicated that S. cerevisiae supplied alanine to the bacterium. 4. A mild but significant low-iron response in the yeast transcriptome, identified by DNA microarray analysis, was consistent with the chelation of iron by the lactate produced by Lb. bulgaricus. 5. Transcriptome analysis of Lb. bulgaricus in mixed cultures showed an overrepresentation of transcripts involved in lipids metabolism suggesting either a competition of the two microorganisms for fatty acids, or a response to the ethanol produced by S. cerevisiae. This study demonstrates that chemostat-based transcriptome analysis is a powerful tool to investigate microbial interaction in mixed populations.
Applied and environmental microbiology 07/2013; · 3.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The efficient fermentation of mixed substrates is essential for the microbial conversion of second-generation feedstocks, including pectin-rich waste streams such as citrus peel and sugar beet pulp. Galacturonic acid is a major constituent of hydrolysates of these pectin-rich materials. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the main producer of bioethanol, cannot use this sugar acid. The impact of galacturonic acid on alcoholic fermentation by S. cerevisiae was investigated with anaerobic batch cultures grown on mixtures of glucose and galactose at various galacturonic acid concentrations and on a mixture of glucose, xylose, and arabinose. In cultures grown at pH 5.0, which is well above the pK(a) value of galacturonic acid (3.51), the addition of 10 g · liter(-1) galacturonic acid did not affect galactose fermentation kinetics and growth. In cultures grown at pH 3.5, the addition of 10 g · liter(-1) galacturonic acid did not significantly affect glucose consumption. However, at this lower pH, galacturonic acid completely inhibited growth on galactose and reduced galactose consumption rates by 87%. Additionally, it was shown that galacturonic acid strongly inhibits the fermentation of xylose and arabinose by the engineered pentose-fermenting S. cerevisiae strain IMS0010. The data indicate that inhibition occurs when nondissociated galacturonic acid is present extracellularly and corroborate the hypothesis that a combination of a decreased substrate uptake rate due to competitive inhibition on Gal2p, an increased energy requirement to maintain cellular homeostasis, and/or an accumulation of galacturonic acid 1-phosphate contributes to the inhibition. The role of galacturonic acid as an inhibitor of sugar fermentation should be considered in the design of yeast fermentation processes based on pectin-rich feedstocks.
Applied and environmental microbiology 05/2012; 78(15):5052-9. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extremely low specific growth rates (below 0.01 h(-1) ) represent a largely unexplored area of microbial physiology. In this study, anaerobic, glucose-limited retentostats were used to analyse physiological and genome-wide transcriptional responses of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to cultivation at near-zero specific growth rates. While quiescence is typically investigated as a result of carbon starvation, cells in retentostat are fed by small, but continuous carbon and energy supply. Yeast cells cultivated near-zero specific growth rates, while metabolically active, exhibited characteristics previously associated with quiescence, including accumulation of storage polymers and an increased expression of genes involved in exit from the cell cycle into G(0) . Unexpectedly, analysis of transcriptome data from retentostat and chemostat cultures showed, as specific growth rate was decreased, that quiescence-related transcriptional responses were already set in at specific growth rates above 0.025 h(-1) . These observations stress the need for systematic dissection of physiological responses to slow growth, quiescence, ageing and starvation and indicate that controlled cultivation systems such as retentostats can contribute to this goal. Furthermore, cells in retentostat do not (or hardly) divide while remaining metabolically active, which emulates the physiological status of metazoan post-mitotic cells. We propose retentostat as a powerful cultivation tool to investigate chronological ageing-related processes.
FEMS Yeast Research 12/2011; 11(8):603-20. · 2.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To establish more advanced models of molecular dynamics within cells, protein characteristics such as turnover rate and absolute instead of relative abundance have to be analyzed. We applied a proteomics strategy to analyze protein degradation and abundance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We used steady-state chemostat cultures to ascertain well-defined growth conditions and nitrogen limited media, which allowed us to rapidly switch from (14)N to (15)N-isotope containing media and to monitor the decay of the (14)N mono-isotope signals in time. We acquired both protein abundance information and degradation rates of 641 proteins. Half-lives of individual proteins were very diverse under nitrogen-limited steady-state conditions, ranging from less than 30 min to over 20 h. Proteins that act as single physical complexes do not always show alike half-lives. For example the chaperonin-containing TCP-1 complex showed similar intermediate half-lives ranging from 7 to 20 h. In contrast, the ribosome exhibited a wide diversity of half-lives ranging from 2.5 to over 20 h, although their cellular abundances were rather similar. The stabilities of proteins involved in the central sugar metabolism were found to be intermediary, except for the glycolytic enzymes Hxk1p and Fba1p and the TCA-cycle proteins Lsc2p and Kgd1p, which showed half-lives of over 20 h. These data stress the need for inclusion of quantitative data of protein turn-over rates in yeast systems biology.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acetic acid tolerance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is crucial for the production of bioethanol and other bulk chemicals from lignocellulosic plant-biomass hydrolysates, especially at a low pH. This study explores two evolutionary engineering strategies for the improvement of acetic acid tolerance of the xylose-fermenting S. cerevisiae RWB218, whose anaerobic growth on xylose at pH 4 is inhibited at acetic acid concentrations >1 g L(-1) : (1) sequential anaerobic, batch cultivation (pH 4) at increasing acetic acid concentrations and (2) prolonged anaerobic continuous cultivation without pH control, in which acidification by ammonium assimilation generates selective pressure for acetic acid tolerance. After c. 400 generations, the sequential-batch and continuous selection cultures grew on xylose at pH≤4 with 6 and 5 g L(-1) acetic acid, respectively. In the continuous cultures, the specific xylose-consumption rate had increased by 75% to 1.7 g xylose g(-1) biomass h(-1) . After storage of samples from both selection experiments at -80 °C and cultivation without acetic acid, they failed to grow on xylose at pH 4 in the presence of 5 g L(-1) acetic acid. Characterization in chemostat cultures with linear acetic acid gradients demonstrated an acetate-inducible acetic acid tolerance in samples from the continuous selection protocol.
FEMS Yeast Research 01/2011; 11(3):299-306. · 2.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A recent effort to improve malic acid production by Saccharomyces cerevisiae by means of metabolic engineering resulted in a strain that produced up to 59 g liter(-1) of malate at a yield of 0.42 mol (mol glucose)(-1) in calcium carbonate-buffered shake flask cultures. With shake flasks, process parameters that are important for scaling up this process cannot be controlled independently. In this study, growth and product formation by the engineered strain were studied in bioreactors in order to separately analyze the effects of pH, calcium, and carbon dioxide and oxygen availability. A near-neutral pH, which in shake flasks was achieved by adding CaCO(3), was required for efficient C(4) dicarboxylic acid production. Increased calcium concentrations, a side effect of CaCO(3) dissolution, had a small positive effect on malate formation. Carbon dioxide enrichment of the sparging gas (up to 15% [vol/vol]) improved production of both malate and succinate. At higher concentrations, succinate titers further increased, reaching 0.29 mol (mol glucose)(-1), whereas malate formation strongly decreased. Although fully aerobic conditions could be achieved, it was found that moderate oxygen limitation benefitted malate production. In conclusion, malic acid production with the engineered S. cerevisiae strain could be successfully transferred from shake flasks to 1-liter batch bioreactors by simultaneous optimization of four process parameters (pH and concentrations of CO(2), calcium, and O(2)). Under optimized conditions, a malate yield of 0.48 +/- 0.01 mol (mol glucose)(-1) was obtained in bioreactors, a 19% increase over yields in shake flask experiments.
Applied and environmental microbiology 12/2009; 76(3):744-50. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the effect of anaerobiosis on the Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondrial proteome and the formation of respiratory chain and other protein complexes, we analyzed mitochondrial protein extracts that were enriched from lysates of aerobic and anaerobic steady-state chemostat cultures. We chose an innovative approach in which native mitochondrial membrane protein complexes were separated by 1-D blue native PAGE, which was combined with quantitative analysis of each complex subunit using stable isotope labeling. LC-FT(ICR)-MS/MS analysis was applied to identify and quantify the mitochondrial proteins. In addition, to establish if changes in mitochondrial complex composition occurred under anaerobiosis, we investigated the 1-D blue native PAGE protein migration patterns by Pearson correlation analysis. Surprisingly, we discovered that under anaerobic conditions, where the yeast respiratory chain is not active, the respiratory chain supercomplexes, such as complex V dimer, complex (III)(2)(IV)(2) and complex (III)(2)(IV) were still present, although at reduced levels. Pearson correlation analysis showed that the composition of the mitochondrial complexes was unchanged under aerobic or anaerobic conditions, with the exception of complex II. In addition, this latter approach allowed screening for possible novel complex interaction partners, since for example protein Aim38p, with a yet unknown function, was identified as a possible component of respiratory chain complex IV.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Growth at near-zero specific growth rates is a largely unexplored area of yeast physiology. To investigate the physiology of Saccharomyces cerevisiae under these conditions, the effluent removal pipe of anaerobic, glucose-limited chemostat culture (dilution rate, 0.025 h(-1)) was fitted with a 0.22-microm-pore-size polypropylene filter unit. This setup enabled prolonged cultivation with complete cell retention. After 22 days of cultivation, specific growth rates had decreased below 0.001 h(-1) (doubling time of >700 h). Over this period, viability of the retentostat cultures decreased to ca. 80%. The viable biomass concentration in the retentostats could be accurately predicted by a maintenance coefficient of 0.50 mmol of glucose g(-1) of biomass h(-1) calculated from anaerobic, glucose-limited chemostat cultures grown at dilution rates of 0.025 to 0.20 h(-1). This indicated that, in contrast to the situation in several prokaryotes, maintenance energy requirements in S. cerevisiae do not substantially change at near-zero specific growth rates. After 22 days of retentostat cultivation, glucose metabolism was predominantly geared toward alcoholic fermentation to meet maintenance energy requirements. The strict correlation between glycerol production and biomass formation observed at higher specific growth rates was not maintained at the near-zero growth rates reached in the retentostat cultures. In addition to glycerol, the organic acids acetate, d-lactate, and succinate were produced at low rates during prolonged retentostat cultivation. This study identifies robustness and by-product formation as key issues in attempts to uncouple growth and product formation in S. cerevisiae.
Applied and environmental microbiology 07/2009; 75(17):5607-14. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Industrial production of lactic acid with the current pyruvate decarboxylase-negative Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains requires aeration to allow for respiratory generation of ATP to facilitate growth and, even under nongrowing conditions, cellular maintenance. In the current study, we observed an inhibition of aerobic growth in the presence of lactic acid. Unexpectedly, the cyb2Delta reference strain, used to avoid aerobic consumption of lactic acid, had a specific growth rate of 0.25 h(-1) in anaerobic batch cultures containing lactic acid but only 0.16 h(-1) in identical aerobic cultures. Measurements of aerobic cultures of S. cerevisiae showed that the addition of lactic acid to the growth medium resulted in elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). To reduce the accumulation of lactic acid-induced ROS, cytosolic catalase (CTT1) was overexpressed by replacing the native promoter with the strong constitutive TPI1 promoter. Increased activity of catalase was confirmed and later correlated with decreased levels of ROS and increased specific growth rates in the presence of high lactic acid concentrations. The increased fitness of this genetically modified strain demonstrates the successful attenuation of additional stress that is derived from aerobic metabolism and may provide the basis for enhanced (micro)aerobic production of organic acids in S. cerevisiae.
Applied and environmental microbiology 03/2009; 75(8):2320-5. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We demonstrated that formaldehyde can be efficiently coutilized by an engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain that expresses Hansenula polymorpha genes encoding formaldehyde dehydrogenase (FLD1) and formate dehydrogenase (FMD), in contrast to wild-type strains. Initial chemostat experiments showed that the engineered strain coutilized formaldehyde with glucose, but these mixed-substrate cultures failed to reach steady-state conditions and did not exhibit an increased biomass yield on glucose. Subsequent transcriptome analyses of chemostat cultures of the engineered strain, grown on glucose-formaldehyde mixtures, indicated that the presence of formaldehyde in the feed caused biotin limitations. Further transcriptome analysis demonstrated that this biotin inactivation was prevented by using separate formaldehyde and vitamin feeds. Using this approach, steady-state glucose-limited chemostat cultures were obtained that coutilized glucose and formaldehyde. Coutilization of formaldehyde under these conditions resulted in an enhanced biomass yield of the glucose-limited cultures. The biomass yield was quantitatively consistent with the use of formaldehyde as an auxiliary substrate that generates NADH and subsequently, via oxidative phosphorylation, ATP. On an electron pair basis, the biomass yield increase observed with formaldehyde was larger than that observed previously for formate, which is tentatively explained by different modes of formate and formaldehyde transport in S. cerevisiae.
Applied and environmental microbiology 06/2008; 74(10):3182-8. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malic acid is a potential biomass-derivable "building block" for chemical synthesis. Since wild-type Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains produce only low levels of malate, metabolic engineering is required to achieve efficient malate production with this yeast. A promising pathway for malate production from glucose proceeds via carboxylation of pyruvate, followed by reduction of oxaloacetate to malate. This redox- and ATP-neutral, CO(2)-fixing pathway has a theoretical maximum yield of 2 mol malate (mol glucose)(-1). A previously engineered glucose-tolerant, C(2)-independent pyruvate decarboxylase-negative S. cerevisiae strain was used as the platform to evaluate the impact of individual and combined introduction of three genetic modifications: (i) overexpression of the native pyruvate carboxylase encoded by PYC2, (ii) high-level expression of an allele of the MDH3 gene, of which the encoded malate dehydrogenase was retargeted to the cytosol by deletion of the C-terminal peroxisomal targeting sequence, and (iii) functional expression of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe malate transporter gene SpMAE1. While single or double modifications improved malate production, the highest malate yields and titers were obtained with the simultaneous introduction of all three modifications. In glucose-grown batch cultures, the resulting engineered strain produced malate at titers of up to 59 g liter(-1) at a malate yield of 0.42 mol (mol glucose)(-1). Metabolic flux analysis showed that metabolite labeling patterns observed upon nuclear magnetic resonance analyses of cultures grown on (13)C-labeled glucose were consistent with the envisaged nonoxidative, fermentative pathway for malate production. The engineered strains still produced substantial amounts of pyruvate, indicating that the pathway efficiency can be further improved.
Applied and environmental microbiology 06/2008; 74(9):2766-77. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transcriptional responses of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to Zn availability were investigated at a fixed specific growth rate under limiting and abundant Zn concentrations in chemostat culture. To investigate the context dependency of this transcriptional response and eliminate growth rate-dependent variations in transcription, yeast was grown under several chemostat regimens, resulting in various carbon (glucose), nitrogen (ammonium), zinc, and oxygen supplies. A robust set of genes that responded consistently to Zn limitation was identified, and the set enabled the definition of the Zn-specific Zap1p regulon, comprised of 26 genes and characterized by a broader zinc-responsive element consensus (MHHAACCBYNMRGGT) than so far described. Most surprising was the Zn-dependent regulation of genes involved in storage carbohydrate metabolism. Their concerted down-regulation was physiologically relevant as revealed by a substantial decrease in glycogen and trehalose cellular content under Zn limitation. An unexpectedly large number of genes were synergistically or antagonistically regulated by oxygen and Zn availability. This combinatorial regulation suggested a more prominent involvement of Zn in mitochondrial biogenesis and function than hitherto identified.
Applied and environmental microbiology 01/2008; 73(23):7680-92. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Saccharomyces cerevisiae is unique among yeasts in its ability to grow rapidly in the complete absence of oxygen. S. cerevisiae is therefore an ideal eukaryotic model to study physiological adaptation to anaerobiosis. Recent transcriptome analyses have identified hundreds of genes that are transcriptionally regulated by oxygen availability but the relevance of this cellular response has not been systematically investigated at the key control level of the proteome. Therefore, the proteomic response of S. cerevisiae to anaerobiosis was investigated using metabolic stable-isotope labelling in aerobic and anaerobic glucose-limited chemostat cultures, followed by relative quantification of protein expression. Using independent replicate cultures and stringent statistical filtering, a robust dataset of 474 quantified proteins was generated, of which 249 showed differential expression levels. While some of these changes were consistent with previous transcriptome studies, many of the responses of S. cerevisiae to oxygen availability were, to our knowledge, previously unreported. Comparison of transcriptomes and proteomes from identical cultivations yielded strong evidence for post-transcriptional regulation of key cellular processes, including glycolysis, amino-acyl-tRNA synthesis, purine nucleotide synthesis and amino acid biosynthesis. The use of chemostat cultures provided well-controlled and reproducible culture conditions, which are essential for generating robust datasets at different cellular information levels. Integration of transcriptome and proteome data led to new insights into the physiology of anaerobically growing yeast that would not have been apparent from differential analyses at either the mRNA or protein level alone, thus illustrating the power of multi-level studies in yeast systems biology.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-cell-density fed-batch processes for bakers' yeast production will involve a low-average-specific growth rate due to the limited oxygen-transfer capacity of industrial bioreactors. The relationship between specific growth rate and fermentative capacity was investigated in aerobic, sucrose-limited fed-batch cultures of an industrial bakers' yeast strain. Using a defined mineral medium, biomass concentrations of 130 g dry weight/L were reproducibly attained. After an initial exponential-feed phase (mu = 0.18 h(-1)), oxygen-transfer limitation necessitated a gradual decrease of the specific growth rate to ca. 0.01 h(-1). Throughout fed-batch cultivation, sugar metabolism was fully respiratory, with a biomass yield of 0.5 g biomass/g sucrose(-1). Fermentative capacity (assayed off-line as ethanol production rate under anaerobic conditions with excess glucose) showed a strong positive correlation with specific growth rate. The fermentative capacity observed at the end of the process (mu = 0.01 h(-1)) was only half that observed during the exponential-feed phase (mu = 0.18 h(-1)). During fed-batch cultivation, activities of glycolytic enzymes, pyruvate decarboxylase and alcohol dehydrogenase in cell extracts did not exhibit marked changes. This suggests that changes of fermentative capacity during fed-batch cultivation were not primarily caused by regulation of the synthesis of glycolytic enzymes.
Biotechnology and Bioengineering 07/2000; 68(5):517-23. · 3.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Growth conditions relevant for the large-scale production of heterologous proteins with yeasts were studied on a laboratory scale. A strain of Kluyveromyces lactis, containing 15 copies of an expression cassette encoding guar -galactosidase integrated into its ribosomal DNA, was used as a model. By using urea as a nitrogen source, it was possible to produce active extracellular -galactosidase in shake-flask cultures grown on a defined mineral medium. Inclusion of urea instead of ammonium sulphate prevented unwanted acidification of cultures. With urea-containing mineral medium, enzyme production in shake flasks was comparable to that in complex media containing peptone. In contrast, the presence of peptone was required to achieve high productivity in chemostat cultures. The low productivity in chemostat cultures growing on mineral media was not due to loss oft the expression cassette, since addition of peptone to such cultures resulted in an immediate high rate of -galactosidase production. The discrepancy between the behaviour of shake-flask and chemostat cultures during growth on mineral medium illustrates the necessity of physiological studies for the scalling-up of heterologous protein production from laboratory to production scale.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 03/1995; 43(1):58-64. · 3.69 Impact Factor