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Improving Stress Tolerance in Industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strains for Ethanol Production from Lignocellulosic Biomass

Wallace, Valeria LU (2014)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in English

Oil resources are finite; and political and economic factors affecting oil production,together with the environmental damage associated with the increased use of oil by a rapidly growing population, have underscored the need for developing cleaner technologies based on sustainable resources. In this context, any lignocellulosic

biomass that is not used in the food chain, such as woody crops and agricultural and forestry by-products, is an appealing raw material for the production of so-called “second-generation (2G) biofuels”, and more specifically 2G ethanol (as opposed to the “first-generation (1G) ethanol”, which is based on edible cellulosic biomass).

Saccharomyces... (More)
Popular Abstract in English

Oil resources are finite; and political and economic factors affecting oil production,together with the environmental damage associated with the increased use of oil by a rapidly growing population, have underscored the need for developing cleaner technologies based on sustainable resources. In this context, any lignocellulosic

biomass that is not used in the food chain, such as woody crops and agricultural and forestry by-products, is an appealing raw material for the production of so-called “second-generation (2G) biofuels”, and more specifically 2G ethanol (as opposed to the “first-generation (1G) ethanol”, which is based on edible cellulosic biomass).

Saccharomyces cerevisiae, commonly known as baker’s yeast (or even yeast) is the preferred microorganism for 1G ethanol production on a large scale, due to its capacity to convert the six-carbon (C6) sugars fast and efficiently. However due to the chemical properties of, and the wide sugar distribution in lignocellulosic biomass,

there are specific challenges associated with 2G ethanol production in yeast. In particular, a pretreatment step is required to release all the sugar monomers from the complex lignocellulose chains and make them available for fermentation. During this step, inhibitory substances of different types are produced at the same time and their

presence in the hydrolysate affects the fermentation performance of yeast. So the aim of the present work was to investigate the mechanisms of yeast tolerance to these inhibitors with or without other types of stressors encountered during the fermentation of lignocellulosic substrates, in order to develop efficient yeast

biocatalysts for 2G ethanol production.

In one part of the study, a mutated yeast enzyme responsible for the conversion of furaldehyde compounds, which are one group of lignocellulosic inhibitors (LI), into a less inhibitory compound, was studied and key mutated amino acids responsible for this conversion were identified. In the second part of the thesis, different strategies

were used to develop yeast strains with increased tolerance to combined stresses. Two targeted proteins that were involved in the response to oxidative stress under laboratory conditions were re-evaluated under process-mimicking conditions. The beneficial effect on tolerance to LI was confirmed, although it was limited to the

fermentation of C6 sugars, and unexpected negative interactions were identified for one candidate in the fermentation of C5 sugars. A second approach concentrated on obtaining a yeast strain with combined tolerance to LI and high temperature, as increased thermotolerance reduces production costs. Using long-term evolution under

selective selection pressure, so-called “evolutionary engineering”, a strain capable of growing and fermenting in the presence of LI and at high temperature (39°C) was generated. Significant differences in the lipid composition of the evolved strain were found, which were confirmed by changes at the genome level in different genes

involved in lipid transport, synthesis, and other steps of lipid metabolism, thereby implicating alterations in the composition of the yeast membrane as being responsible for combined tolerance.

Overall, the work performed for this thesis resulted in the development of several strains with improved characteristics that were suitable for fermentation of LI. The work also contributed to a better understanding of the mechanisms of stress response in yeast. (Less)
Abstract
The present work was aimed at developing industrial S. cerevisiae strains with improved tolerance to two types of stressors encountered during the fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass that affect ethanol yield and productivity, namely hydrolysate-derived inhibitors and high temperature, and at understanding the response of yeast and mechanisms of adaptation to such stressors. In one part of the study, key amino acid substitutions that were responsible for the acquired ability of a mutated yeast enzyme to convert HMF, one of the lignocellulosic inhibitors (LI), into a less inhibitory compound were identified in the active site of the enzyme. The specific properties of the mutant were investigated. In the second part of the... (More)
The present work was aimed at developing industrial S. cerevisiae strains with improved tolerance to two types of stressors encountered during the fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass that affect ethanol yield and productivity, namely hydrolysate-derived inhibitors and high temperature, and at understanding the response of yeast and mechanisms of adaptation to such stressors. In one part of the study, key amino acid substitutions that were responsible for the acquired ability of a mutated yeast enzyme to convert HMF, one of the lignocellulosic inhibitors (LI), into a less inhibitory compound were identified in the active site of the enzyme. The specific properties of the mutant were investigated. In the second part of the thesis,

different strategies were applied to develop yeast strains with increased tolerance to combined stresses. In one approach, the effects of two targeted proteins that were previously shown to be involved in the response to oxidative stress in laboratory yeast strains were re-evaluated under process-mimicking conditions, i.e. using a robust industrial strain background and fermenting highly inhibitory spruce

hydrolysate. The beneficial effects on tolerance to LI were confirmed in the industrial strain, but they were shown to be strain-dependent and limited to the fermentation of 6-carbon sugars (C6); unexpected

negative interactions were also identified for one of the candidates in the fermentation of C5 sugars. The second approach focused on improving the tolerance to high temperature in the presence of LI. A strain with combined tolerance to both stressors was obtained by long-term adaptation. In contrast to its parental strain, the evolved strain was capable of growing and fermenting C6 in the presence of LI and at high temperature (39°C). Possible mechanisms behind the improved performance of this strain were investigated using genome-wide approaches. Significant differences were found in lipid composition,which correlated with changes at the genome level in different genes involved in lipid transport, synthesis,

and other steps of lipid metabolism, thereby indicating that alterations in membrane composition may be behind the improved combined tolerance. Overall, the work performed for this thesis resulted in the development of several strains with improved characteristics that are suitable for fermentation of LI. The

work has also contributed to a better understanding of the mechanisms of stress response in yeast. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor du Preez, James C., Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Technology, University of the Free State, South Africa
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, lignocellulose, ethanol, inhibitors, temperature, stress tolerance
pages
188 pages
publisher
Department of Chemistry, Lund University
defense location
Lecture Hall B, Kemicentrum, Getingevägen 60, Lund university Faculty of engineering
defense date
2014-05-09 10:30
ISBN
978-91-7422-347-7
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f07427ec-34d4-4850-a8ff-a43d336a9461 (old id 4393519)
date added to LUP
2014-04-16 08:04:13
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:12
@phdthesis{f07427ec-34d4-4850-a8ff-a43d336a9461,
  abstract     = {The present work was aimed at developing industrial S. cerevisiae strains with improved tolerance to two types of stressors encountered during the fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass that affect ethanol yield and productivity, namely hydrolysate-derived inhibitors and high temperature, and at understanding the response of yeast and mechanisms of adaptation to such stressors. In one part of the study, key amino acid substitutions that were responsible for the acquired ability of a mutated yeast enzyme to convert HMF, one of the lignocellulosic inhibitors (LI), into a less inhibitory compound were identified in the active site of the enzyme. The specific properties of the mutant were investigated. In the second part of the thesis,<br/><br>
different strategies were applied to develop yeast strains with increased tolerance to combined stresses. In one approach, the effects of two targeted proteins that were previously shown to be involved in the response to oxidative stress in laboratory yeast strains were re-evaluated under process-mimicking conditions, i.e. using a robust industrial strain background and fermenting highly inhibitory spruce<br/><br>
hydrolysate. The beneficial effects on tolerance to LI were confirmed in the industrial strain, but they were shown to be strain-dependent and limited to the fermentation of 6-carbon sugars (C6); unexpected<br/><br>
negative interactions were also identified for one of the candidates in the fermentation of C5 sugars. The second approach focused on improving the tolerance to high temperature in the presence of LI. A strain with combined tolerance to both stressors was obtained by long-term adaptation. In contrast to its parental strain, the evolved strain was capable of growing and fermenting C6 in the presence of LI and at high temperature (39°C). Possible mechanisms behind the improved performance of this strain were investigated using genome-wide approaches. Significant differences were found in lipid composition,which correlated with changes at the genome level in different genes involved in lipid transport, synthesis,<br/><br>
and other steps of lipid metabolism, thereby indicating that alterations in membrane composition may be behind the improved combined tolerance. Overall, the work performed for this thesis resulted in the development of several strains with improved characteristics that are suitable for fermentation of LI. The<br/><br>
work has also contributed to a better understanding of the mechanisms of stress response in yeast.},
  author       = {Wallace, Valeria},
  isbn         = {978-91-7422-347-7},
  keyword      = {Saccharomyces cerevisiae,lignocellulose,ethanol,inhibitors,temperature,stress tolerance},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {188},
  publisher    = {Department of Chemistry, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Improving Stress Tolerance in Industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strains for Ethanol Production from Lignocellulosic Biomass},
  year         = {2014},
}