New approaches for improving the production of the 1st and 2nd generation ethanol by yeast.
AbstractIncrease in the production of 1st generation ethanol from glucose is possible by the reduction in the production of ethanol co-products, especially biomass. We have developed a method to reduce biomass accumulation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae by the manipulation of the intracellular ATP level due to overexpression of genes of alkaline phosphatase, apyrase or enzymes involved in futile cycles. The strains constructed accumulated up to 10% more ethanol on a cornmeal hydrolysate medium. Similar increase in ethanol accumulation was observed in the mutants resistant to the toxic inhibitors of glycolysis like 3-bromopyruvate and others. Substantial increase in fuel ethanol production will be obtained by the development of new strains of yeasts that ferment sugars of the abundant lignocellulosic feedstocks, especially xylose, a pentose sugar. We have found that xylose can be fermented under elevated temperatures by the thermotolerant yeast, Hansenula polymorpha. We combined protein engineering of the gene coding for xylose reductase (XYL1) along with overexpression of the other two genes responsible for xylose metabolism in yeast (XYL2, XYL3) and the deletion of the global transcriptional activator CAT8, with the selection of mutants defective in utilizing ethanol as a carbon source using the anticancer drug, 3-bromopyruvate. Resulted strains accumulated 20-25 times more ethanol from xylose at the elevated temperature of 45°C with up to 12.5 g L(-1) produced. Increase in ethanol yield and productivity from xylose was also achieved by overexpression of genes coding for the peroxisomal enzymes: transketolase (DAS1) and transaldolase (TAL2), and deletion of the ATG13 gene.
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