Effects of T-2 toxin on ethanol production by Saccharomyces cerevisiae
A trichothecene mycotoxin, T-2 toxin, inhibits several aspects of cellular physiology in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, including protein synthesis and mitochondrial functions. We have studied growth of, glucose utilization by, and ethanol production by S. cerevisiae and show that they are inhibited by T-2 toxin between 20 and 200 micrograms/ml in a dose-dependent manner. At 200 micrograms/ml, T-2 toxin causes cell death. This apparent inhibition of ethanol production was found to be the result of growth inhibition. On the basis of biomass or glucose consumption, T-2 toxin increased the amount of ethanol present in the culture. This suggests that T-2 inhibits oxidative but not fermentative energy metabolism by inhibiting mitochondrial function and shifting glucose catabolism toward ethanol formation. As T-2 toxin does not directly inhibit ethanol production by S. cerevisiae, this system could be used for ethanol production from trichothecene-contaminated grain products.
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