Bulk segregant analysis by high-throughput sequencing reveals a novel xylose utilization gene from Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
ABSTRACT: Fermentation of xylose is a fundamental requirement for the efficient production of ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass sources. Although they aggressively ferment hexoses, it has long been thought that native Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains cannot grow fermentatively or non-fermentatively on xylose. Population surveys have uncovered a few naturally occurring strains that are weakly xylose-positive, and some S. cerevisiae have been genetically engineered to ferment xylose, but no strain, either natural or engineered, has yet been reported to ferment xylose as efficiently as glucose. Here, we used a medium-throughput screen to identify Saccharomyces strains that can increase in optical density when xylose is presented as the sole carbon source. We identified 38 strains that have this xylose utilization phenotype, including strains of S. cerevisiae, other sensu stricto members, and hybrids between them. All the S. cerevisiae xylose-utilizing strains we identified are wine yeasts, and for those that could produce meiotic progeny, the xylose phenotype segregates as a single gene trait. We mapped this gene by Bulk Segregant Analysis (BSA) using tiling microarrays and high-throughput sequencing. The gene is a putative xylitol dehydrogenase, which we name XDH1, and is located in the subtelomeric region of the right end of chromosome XV in a region not present in the S288c reference genome. We further characterized the xylose phenotype by performing gene expression microarrays and by genetically dissecting the endogenous Saccharomyces xylose pathway. We have demonstrated that natural S. cerevisiae yeasts are capable of utilizing xylose as the sole carbon source, characterized the genetic basis for this trait as well as the endogenous xylose utilization pathway, and demonstrated the feasibility of BSA using high-throughput sequencing.
Project description:The use of plant biomass for biofuel production will require efficient utilization of the sugars in lignocellulose, primarily glucose and xylose. However, strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae presently used in bioethanol production ferment glucose but not xylose. Yeasts engineered to ferment xylose do so slowly, and cannot utilize xylose until glucose is completely consumed. To overcome these bottlenecks, we engineered yeasts to coferment mixtures of xylose and cellobiose. In these yeast strains, hydrolysis of cellobiose takes place inside yeast cells through the action of an intracellular ?-glucosidase following import by a high-affinity cellodextrin transporter. Intracellular hydrolysis of cellobiose minimizes glucose repression of xylose fermentation allowing coconsumption of cellobiose and xylose. The resulting yeast strains, cofermented cellobiose and xylose simultaneously and exhibited improved ethanol yield when compared to fermentation with either cellobiose or xylose as sole carbon sources. We also observed improved yields and productivities from cofermentation experiments performed with simulated cellulosic hydrolyzates, suggesting this is a promising cofermentation strategy for cellulosic biofuel production. The successful integration of cellobiose and xylose fermentation pathways in yeast is a critical step towards enabling economic biofuel production.
Project description:Xylose is one of the major fermentable sugars present in cellulosic biomass, second only to glucose. However, Saccharomyces spp., the best sugar-fermenting microorganisms, are not able to metabolize xylose. We developed recombinant plasmids that can transform Saccharomyces spp. into xylose-fermenting yeasts. These plasmids, designated pLNH31, -32, -33, and -34, are 2 microns-based high-copy-number yeast-E. coli shuttle plasmids. In addition to the geneticin resistance and ampicillin resistance genes that serve as dominant selectable markers, these plasmids also contain three xylose-metabolizing genes, a xylose reductase gene, a xylitol dehydrogenase gene (both from Pichia stipitis), and a xylulokinase gene (from Saccharomyces cerevisiae). These xylose-metabolizing genes were also fused to signals controlling gene expression from S. cerevisiae glycolytic genes. Transformation of Saccharomyces sp. strain 1400 with each of these plasmids resulted in the conversion of strain 1400 from a non-xylose-metabolizing yeast to a xylose-metabolizing yeast that can effectively ferment xylose to ethanol and also effectively utilizes xylose for aerobic growth. Furthermore, the resulting recombinant yeasts also have additional extraordinary properties. For example, the synthesis of the xylose-metabolizing enzymes directed by the cloned genes in these recombinant yeasts does not require the presence of xylose for induction, nor is the synthesis repressed by the presence of glucose in the medium. These properties make the recombinant yeasts able to efficiently ferment xylose to ethanol and also able to efficiently coferment glucose and xylose present in the same medium to ethanol simultaneously.
Project description:Creating Saccharomyces yeasts capable of efficient fermentation of pentoses such as xylose remains a key challenge in the production of ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass. Metabolic engineering of industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains has yielded xylose-fermenting strains, but these strains have not yet achieved industrial viability due largely to xylose fermentation being prohibitively slower than that of glucose. Recently, it has been shown that naturally occurring xylose-utilizing Saccharomyces species exist. Uncovering the genetic architecture of such strains will shed further light on xylose metabolism, suggesting additional engineering approaches or possibly even enabling the development of xylose-fermenting yeasts that are not genetically modified. We previously identified a hybrid yeast strain, the genome of which is largely Saccharomyces uvarum, which has the ability to grow on xylose as the sole carbon source. To circumvent the sterility of this hybrid strain, we developed a novel method to genetically characterize its xylose-utilization phenotype, using a tetraploid intermediate, followed by bulk segregant analysis in conjunction with high-throughput sequencing. We found that this strain's growth in xylose is governed by at least two genetic loci, within which we identified the responsible genes: one locus contains a known xylose-pathway gene, a novel homolog of the aldo-keto reductase gene GRE3, while a second locus contains a homolog of APJ1, which encodes a putative chaperone not previously connected to xylose metabolism. Our work demonstrates that the power of sequencing combined with bulk segregant analysis can also be applied to a nongenetically tractable hybrid strain that contains a complex, polygenic trait, and identifies new avenues for metabolic engineering as well as for construction of nongenetically modified xylose-fermenting strains.
Project description:Though highly efficient at fermenting hexose sugars, Saccharomyces cerevisiae has limited ability to ferment five-carbon sugars. As a significant portion of sugars found in cellulosic biomass is the five-carbon sugar xylose, S. cerevisiae must be engineered to metabolize pentose sugars, commonly by the addition of exogenous genes from xylose fermenting fungi. However, these recombinant strains grow poorly on xylose and require further improvement through rational engineering or evolutionary adaptation. To identify unknown genes that contribute to improved xylose fermentation in these recombinant S. cerevisiae, we performed genome-wide synthetic interaction screens to identify deletion mutants that impact xylose utilization of strains expressing the xylose isomerase gene XYLA from Piromyces sp. E2 alone or with an additional copy of the endogenous xylulokinase gene XKS1. We also screened the deletion mutant array to identify mutants whose growth is affected by xylose. Our genetic network reveals that more than 80 nonessential genes from a diverse range of cellular processes impact xylose utilization. Surprisingly, we identified four genes, ALP1, ISC1, RPL20B, and BUD21, that when individually deleted improved xylose utilization of both S. cerevisiae S288C and CEN.PK strains. We further characterized BUD21 deletion mutant cells in batch fermentations and found that they produce ethanol even the absence of exogenous XYLA. We have demonstrated that the ability of laboratory strains of S. cerevisiae to utilize xylose as a sole carbon source is suppressed, which implies that S. cerevisiae may not require the addition of exogenous genes for efficient xylose fermentation.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Sustainable and economically viable manufacturing of bioethanol from lignocellulose raw material is dependent on the availability of a robust ethanol producing microorganism, able to ferment all sugars present in the feedstock, including the pentose sugars L-arabinose and D-xylose. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a robust ethanol producer, but needs to be engineered to achieve pentose sugar fermentation. RESULTS: A new recombinant S. cerevisiae strain expressing an improved fungal pathway for the utilization of L-arabinose and D-xylose was constructed and characterized. The new strain grew aerobically on L-arabinose and D-xylose as sole carbon sources. The activities of the enzymes constituting the pentose utilization pathway(s) and product formation during anaerobic mixed sugar fermentation were characterized. CONCLUSION: Pentose fermenting recombinant S. cerevisiae strains were obtained by the expression of a pentose utilization pathway of entirely fungal origin. During anaerobic fermentation the strain produced biomass and ethanol. L-arabitol yield was 0.48 g per gram of consumed pentose sugar, which is considerably less than previously reported for D-xylose reductase expressing strains co-fermenting L-arabinose and D-xylose, and the xylitol yield was 0.07 g per gram of consumed pentose sugar.
Project description:The ascomycetes Candida albicans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Scheffersomyces stipitis metabolize the pentose sugar xylose very differently. S. cerevisiae fails to grow on xylose, while C. albicans can grow, and S. stipitis can both grow and ferment xylose to ethanol. However, all three species contain highly similar genes that encode potential xylose reductases and xylitol dehydrogenases required to convert xylose to xylulose, and xylulose supports the growth of all three fungi. We have created C. albicans strains deleted for the xylose reductase gene GRE3, the xylitol dehydrogenase gene XYL2, as well as the gre3 xyl2 double mutant. As expected, all the mutant strains cannot grow on xylose, while the single gre3 mutant can grow on xylitol. The gre3 and xyl2 mutants are efficiently complemented by the XYL1 and XYL2 from S. stipitis. Intriguingly, the S. cerevisiae GRE3 gene can complement the Cagre3 mutant, while the ScSOR1 gene can complement the Caxyl2 mutant, showing that S. cerevisiae contains the enzymatic capacity for converting xylose to xylulose. In addition, the gre3 xyl2 double mutant of C. albicans is effectively rescued by the xylose isomerase (XI) gene of either Piromyces or Orpinomyces, suggesting that the XI provides an alternative to the missing oxido-reductase functions in the mutant required for the xylose-xylulose conversion. Overall this work suggests that C. albicans strains engineered to lack essential steps for xylose metabolism can provide a platform for the analysis of xylose metabolism enzymes from a variety of species, and confirms that S. cerevisiae has the genetic potential to convert xylose to xylulose, although non-engineered strains cannot proliferate on xylose as the sole carbon source.
Project description:The production of ethanol and other fuels and chemicals from lignocellulosic materials is dependent of efficient xylose conversion. Xylose fermentation capacity in yeasts is usually linked to xylose reductase (XR) accepting NADH as cofactor. The XR from Scheffersomyces stipitis, which is able to use NADH as cofactor but still prefers NADPH, has been used to generate recombinant xylose-fermenting Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Novel xylose-fermenting yeasts species, as those from the Spathaspora clade, have been described and are potential sources of novel genes to improve xylose fermentation in S. cerevisiae.Xylose fermentation by six strains from different Spathaspora species isolated in Brazil, plus the Sp. passalidarum type strain (CBS 10155(T)), was characterized under two oxygen-limited conditions. The best xylose-fermenting strains belong to the Sp. passalidarum species, and their highest ethanol titers, yields, and productivities were correlated to higher XR activity with NADH than with NADPH. Among the different Spathaspora species, Sp. passalidarum appears to be the sole harboring two XYL1 genes: XYL1.1, similar to the XYL1 found in other Spathaspora and yeast species and XYL1.2, with relatively higher expression level. XYL1.1p and XYL1.2p from Sp. passalidarum were expressed in S. cerevisiae TMB 3044 and XYL1.1p was confirmed to be strictly NADPH-dependent, while XYL1.2p to use both NADPH and NADH, with higher activity with the later. Recombinant S. cerevisiae strains expressing XYL1.1p did not show anaerobic growth in xylose medium. Under anaerobic xylose fermentation, S. cerevisiae TMB 3504, which expresses XYL1.2p from Sp. passalidarum, revealed significant higher ethanol yield and productivity than S. cerevisiae TMB 3422, which harbors XYL1p N272D from Sc. stipitis in the same isogenic background (0.40 vs 0.34 g gCDW (-1) and 0.33 vs 0.18 g gCDW (-1) h(-1), respectively).This work explored a new clade of xylose-fermenting yeasts (Spathaspora species) towards the engineering of S. cerevisiae for improved xylose fermentation. The new S. cerevisiae TMB 3504 displays higher XR activity with NADH than with NADPH, with consequent improved ethanol yield and productivity and low xylitol production. This meaningful advance in anaerobic xylose fermentation by recombinant S. cerevisiae (using the XR/XDH pathway) paves the way for the development of novel industrial pentose-fermenting strains.
Project description:Considering the cost-effectiveness of bioethanol production, there is a need for a yeast strain which can convert glucose and xylose into ethanol at elevated temperatures. We succeeded in isolating a yeast strain, designated strain ATY839, which was capable of ethanolic fermentation at temperatures above those previously reported for yeasts able to ferment both glucose and xylose. Strain ATY839 was capable of producing a substantial amount of ethanol at up to 37°C from 2% glucose or 2% xylose. The results of a phylogenetic analysis suggest that strain ATY839 belongs to Candida shehatae. In additional, ethanol production from rice straw by strain ATY839 was examined. Compared with the control strains (Saccharomyces cerevisiae NBRC 0224, Scheffersomyces stipitis NBRC 10063, and C. shehatae ATCC 22984), strain ATY839 produced more ethanol in SSF even at 37°C. The theoretical maximum yield of strain ATY839 was 71.6% at 24 h. Thus, strain ATY839 is considered to be the most tolerant to high temperature of the C. shehatae strains.
Project description:Creating Saccharomyces yeasts capable of efficient fermentation of pentoses such as xylose remains a key challenge in the production of ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass. Metabolic engineering of industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains has yielded xylose-fermenting strains, but these strains have not yet achieved industrial viability due largely to xylose fermentation being prohibitively slower than that of glucose. Recently, it has been shown that naturally occurring xylose-utilizing Saccharomyces species exist. Uncovering the genetic architecture of such strains will shed further light on xylose metabolism, suggesting additional engineering approaches or possibly even the development of xylose-fermenting yeasts that are not genetically modified. We previously identified a hybrid yeast strain, the genome of which is largely Saccharomyces uvarum, which has the ability to grow on xylose as the sole carbon source. Despite the sterility of this hybrid strain, we were able to develop novel methods to genetically characterize its xylose utilization phenotype, using bulk segregant analysis in conjunction with high-throughput sequencing. We found that its growth in xylose is governed by at least two genetic loci: one of the loci maps to a known xylose-pathway gene, a novel allele of the aldo-keto reductase gene GRE3, while a second locus maps to an allele of APJ1, a chaperonin gene not previously connected to xylose metabolism. Our work demonstrates that the power of sequencing combined with bulk segregant analysis can also be applied to a non-genetically-tractable hybrid strain that contains a complex, polygenic trait, and it identifies new avenues for metabolic engineering as well as for construction of non-genetically modified xylose-fermenting strains. Overall design: comparative genomic hybridization by array
Project description:The inability of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to ferment xylose effectively under anaerobic conditions is a major barrier to economical production of lignocellulosic biofuels. Although genetic approaches have enabled engineering of S. cerevisiae to convert xylose efficiently into ethanol in defined lab medium, few strains are able to ferment xylose from lignocellulosic hydrolysates in the absence of oxygen. This limited xylose conversion is believed to result from small molecules generated during biomass pretreatment and hydrolysis, which induce cellular stress and impair metabolism. Here, we describe the development of a xylose-fermenting S. cerevisiae strain with tolerance to a range of pretreated and hydrolyzed lignocellulose, including Ammonia Fiber Expansion (AFEX)-pretreated corn stover hydrolysate (ACSH). We genetically engineered a hydrolysate-resistant yeast strain with bacterial xylose isomerase and then applied two separate stages of aerobic and anaerobic directed evolution. The emergent S. cerevisiae strain rapidly converted xylose from lab medium and ACSH to ethanol under strict anaerobic conditions. Metabolomic, genetic and biochemical analyses suggested that a missense mutation in GRE3, which was acquired during the anaerobic evolution, contributed toward improved xylose conversion by reducing intracellular production of xylitol, an inhibitor of xylose isomerase. These results validate our combinatorial approach, which utilized phenotypic strain selection, rational engineering and directed evolution for the generation of a robust S. cerevisiae strain with the ability to ferment xylose anaerobically from ACSH.