Evolutionary engineered Candida intermedia exhibits improved xylose utilization and robustness to lignocellulose-derived inhibitors and ethanol.
ABSTRACT: The development of robust microorganisms that can efficiently ferment both glucose and xylose represents one of the major challenges in achieving a cost-effective lignocellulosic bioethanol production. Candida intermedia is a non-conventional, xylose-utilizing yeast species with a high-capacity xylose transport system. The natural ability of C. intermedia to produce ethanol from xylose makes it attractive as a non-GMO alternative for lignocellulosic biomass conversion in biorefineries. We have evaluated the fermentation capacity and the tolerance to lignocellulose-derived inhibitors and the end product, ethanol, of the C. intermedia strain CBS 141442 isolated from steam-exploded wheat straw hydrolysate. In a mixed sugar fermentation medium, C. intermedia CBS 141442 co-fermented glucose and xylose, although with a preference for glucose over xylose. The strain was clearly more sensitive to inhibitors and ethanol when consuming xylose than glucose. C. intermedia CBS 141442 was also subjected to evolutionary engineering with the aim of increasing its tolerance to inhibitors and ethanol, and thus improving its fermentation capacity under harsh conditions. The resulting evolved population was able to ferment a 50% (v/v) steam-exploded wheat straw hydrolysate (which was completely inhibitory to the parental strain), improving the sugar consumption and the final ethanol concentration. The evolved population also exhibited a better tolerance to ethanol when growing in a xylose medium supplemented with 35.5 g/L ethanol. These results highlight the potential of C. intermedia CBS 141442 to become a robust yeast for the conversion of lignocellulose to ethanol.
Project description:Background:An economically viable production of biofuels and biochemicals from lignocellulose requires microorganisms that can readily convert both the cellulosic and hemicellulosic fractions into product. The yeast Candida intermedia displays a high capacity for uptake and conversion of several lignocellulosic sugars including the abundant pentose d-xylose, an underutilized carbon source since most industrially relevant microorganisms cannot naturally ferment it. Thus, C. intermedia constitutes an important source of knowledge and genetic information that could be transferred to industrial microorganisms such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae to improve their capacity to ferment lignocellulose-derived xylose. Results:To understand the genetic determinants that underlie the metabolic properties of C. intermedia, we sequenced the genomes of both the in-house-isolated strain CBS 141442 and the reference strain PYCC 4715. De novo genome assembly and subsequent analysis revealed C. intermedia to be a haploid species belonging to the CTG clade of ascomycetous yeasts. The two strains have highly similar genome sizes and number of protein-encoding genes, but they differ on the chromosomal level due to numerous translocations of large and small genomic segments. The transcriptional profiles for CBS 141442 grown in medium with either high or low concentrations of glucose and xylose were determined through RNA-sequencing analysis, revealing distinct clusters of co-regulated genes in response to different specific growth rates, carbon sources and osmotic stress. Analysis of the genomic and transcriptomic data also identified multiple xylose reductases, one of which displayed dual NADH/NADPH co-factor specificity that likely plays an important role for co-factor recycling during xylose fermentation. Conclusions:In the present study, we performed the first genomic and transcriptomic analysis of C. intermedia and identified several novel genes for conversion of xylose. Together the results provide insights into the mechanisms underlying saccharide utilization in C. intermedia and reveal potential target genes to aid in xylose fermentation in S. cerevisiae.
Project description:The various strains of Scheffersomyces stipitis (Pichia stipitis) differ substantially with respect to their ability to ferment xylose into ethanol. Two P. stipitis strains CBS 5773 and CBS 6054 have been most often used in literature but comparison of their performance in xylose fermentation under identical conditions has not been reported so far. Conversion of xylose (22 g/L) by each of these P. stipitis strain was analyzed under anaerobic and microaerobic conditions. Ethanol yields of ?0.41 g/g were independent of strain and conditions used. Glycerol and acetate were formed in constant yields of 0.006 g/g and 0.02 g/g, respectively. Xylitol formation decreased from ?0.08 g/g to ?0.05 g/g upon switch from anaerobic to microaerobic conditions. Specific activities of enzymes of the two-step oxidoreductive xylose conversion pathway (xylose reductase and xylitol dehydrogenase) matched for both strains within limits of error. When xylose was offered at 76 g/L under microaerobic reaction conditions, ethanol yields were still high (0.37-0.39 g/g) for both strains even though the xylitol yields (0.12-0.13 g/g) were increased as compared to the conditions of low xylose concentration. P. stipitis strains CBS 5773 and CBS 6054 are therefore identical by the criteria selected and show useful performance during conversion of xylose into ethanol, irrespective of the supply of oxygen.
Project description:Lignocellulosic biomass offers a sustainable source for biofuel production that does not compete with food-based cropping systems. Importantly, two critical bottlenecks prevent economic adoption: many industrially relevant microorganisms cannot ferment pentose sugars prevalent in lignocellulosic medium, leaving a significant amount of carbon unutilized. Furthermore, chemical biomass pretreatment required to release fermentable sugars generates a variety of toxins, which inhibit microbial growth and metabolism, specifically limiting pentose utilization in engineered strains. Here we dissected genetic determinants of anaerobic xylose fermentation and stress tolerance in chemically pretreated corn stover biomass, called hydrolysate. We previously revealed that loss-of-function mutations in the stress-responsive MAP kinase HOG1 and negative regulator of the RAS/Protein Kinase A (PKA) pathway, IRA2, enhances anaerobic xylose fermentation. However, these mutations likely reduce cells' ability to tolerate the toxins present in lignocellulosic hydrolysate, making the strain especially vulnerable to it. We tested the contributions of Hog1 and PKA signaling via IRA2 or PKA negative regulatory subunit BCY1 to metabolism, growth, and stress tolerance in corn stover hydrolysate and laboratory medium with mixed sugars. We found mutations causing upregulated PKA activity increase growth rate and glucose consumption in various media but do not have a specific impact on xylose fermentation. In contrast, mutation of HOG1 specifically increased xylose usage. We hypothesized improving stress tolerance would enhance the rate of xylose consumption in hydrolysate. Surprisingly, increasing stress tolerance did not augment xylose fermentation in lignocellulosic medium in this strain background, suggesting other mechanisms besides cellular stress limit this strain's ability for anaerobic xylose fermentation in hydrolysate.
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:Dilute acid pretreatment is an established method for hydrolyzing the methylglucuronoxylans of hemicellulose to release fermentable xylose. In addition to xylose, this process releases the aldouronate methylglucuronoxylose, which cannot be metabolized by current ethanologenic biocatalysts. Enterobacter asburiae JDR-1, isolated from colonized wood, was found to efficiently ferment both methylglucuronoxylose and xylose in acid hydrolysates of sweet gum xylan, producing predominantly ethanol and acetate. Transformation of E. asburiae JDR-1 with pLOI555 or pLOI297, each containing the PET operon containing pyruvate decarboxylase (pdc) and alcohol dehydrogenase B (adhB) genes derived from Zymomonas mobilis, replaced mixed-acid fermentation with homoethanol fermentation. Deletion of the pyruvate formate lyase (pflB) gene further increased the ethanol yield, resulting in a stable E. asburiae E1(pLOI555) strain that efficiently utilized both xylose and methylglucuronoxylose in dilute acid hydrolysates of sweet gum xylan. Ethanol was produced from xylan hydrolysate by E. asburiae E1(pLOI555) with a yield that was 99% of the theoretical maximum yield and at a rate of 0.11 g ethanol/g (dry weight) cells/h, which was 1.57 times the yield and 1.48 times the rate obtained with the ethanologenic strain Escherichia coli KO11. This engineered derivative of E. asburiae JDR-1 that is able to ferment the predominant hexoses and pentoses derived from both hemicellulose and cellulose fractions is a promising subject for development as an ethanologenic biocatalyst for production of fuels and chemicals from agricultural residues and energy crops.
Project description:Propagation conditions have been shown to be of considerable importance for the fermentation ability of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The limited tolerance of yeast to inhibitors present in lignocellulosic hydrolysates is a major challenge in second-generation bioethanol production. We have investigated the hypothesis that the addition of nutrients during propagation leads to yeast cultures with improved ability to subsequently ferment lignocellulosic materials. This hypothesis was tested with and without short-term adaptation to wheat straw or corn stover hydrolysates during propagation of the yeast. The study was performed using the industrial xylose-fermenting S. cerevisiae strain CR01. Adding a mixture of pyridoxine, thiamine, and biotin to unadapted propagation cultures improved cell growth and ethanol yields during fermentation in wheat straw hydrolysate from 0.04 g g-1 to 0.19 g g-1 and in corn stover hydrolysate from 0.02 g g-1 to 0.08 g g-1. The combination of short-term adaptation and supplementation with the vitamin mixture during propagation led to ethanol yields of 0.43 g g-1 in wheat straw hydrolysate fermentation and 0.41 g g-1 in corn stover hydrolysate fermentation. These ethanol yields were improved compared to ethanol yields from cultures that were solely short-term adapted (0.37 and 0.33 g g-1). Supplementing the propagation medium with nutrients in combination with short-term adaptation was thus demonstrated to be a promising strategy to improve the efficiency of industrial lignocellulosic fermentation.
Project description:Co-fermentation of glucose, xylose and L-arabinose from lignocellulosic biomass by an oleaginous yeast is anticipated as a method for biodiesel production. However, most yeasts ferment glucose first before consuming pentoses, due to glucose repression. This preferential utilization results in delayed fermentation time and lower productivity. Therefore, co-fermentation of lignocellulosic sugars could achieve cost-effective conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to microbial lipid. Comprehensive screening of oleaginous yeasts capable of simultaneously utilizing glucose, xylose, and L-arabinose was performed by measuring the concentration of sugars remaining in the medium and of lipids accumulated in the cells. We found that of 1189 strains tested, 12 had the ability to co-ferment the sugars. The basidiomycete yeast Pseudozyma hubeiensis IPM1-10, which had the highest sugars consumption rate of 94.1 %, was selected by culturing in a batch culture with the mixed-sugar medium. The strain showed (1) simultaneous utilization of all three sugars, and (2) high lipid-accumulating ability. This study suggests that P. hubeiensis IPM1-10 is a promising candidate for second-generation biodiesel production from hydrolysate of lignocellulosic biomass.
Project description:Eight fermentative bacterial strains were isolated from mixed enrichment cultures of a composite soil sample collected at 1.34 km depth from the former Homestake gold mine in Lead, SD, USA. Phylogenetic analysis of their 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that these isolates were affiliated with the phylum Firmicutes belonging to genera Bacillus and Clostridium. Batch fermentation studies demonstrated that isolates had the ability to ferment glucose, xylose, or glycerol to industrially valuable products such as ethanol and 1,3-propanediol (PDO). Ethanol was detected as the major fermentation end product in glucose-fermenting cultures at pH 10 with yields of 0.205-0.304 g of ethanol/g of glucose. While a xylose-fermenting strain yielded 0.189 g of ethanol/g of xylose and 0.585 g of acetic acid/g of xylose at the end of fermentation. At pH 7, glycerol-fermenting isolates produced PDO (0.323-0.458 g of PDO/g of glycerol) and ethanol (0.284-0.350 g of ethanol/g of glycerol) as major end products while acetic acid and succinic acid were identified as minor by-products in fermentation broths. These results suggest that the deep biosphere of the former Homestake gold mine harbors bacterial strains which could be used in bio-based production of ethanol and PDO.
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.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is unable to ferment pentose sugars like d-xylose. Through the introduction of the respective metabolic pathway, S. cerevisiae is able to ferment xylose but first utilizes d-glucose before the d-xylose can be transported and metabolized. Low affinity d-xylose uptake occurs through the endogenous hexose (Hxt) transporters. For a more robust sugar fermentation, co-consumption of d-glucose and d-xylose is desired as d-xylose fermentation is in particular prone to inhibition by compounds present in pretreated lignocellulosic feedstocks. RESULTS:Evolutionary engineering of a d-xylose-fermenting S. cerevisiae strain lacking the major transporter HXT1-7 and GAL2 genes yielded a derivative that shows improved growth on xylose because of the expression of a normally cryptic HXT11 gene. Hxt11 also supported improved growth on d-xylose by the wild-type strain. Further selection for glucose-insensitive growth on d-xylose employing a quadruple hexokinase deletion yielded mutations at N366 of Hxt11 that reversed the transporter specificity for d-glucose into d-xylose while maintaining high d-xylose transport rates. The Hxt11 mutant enabled the efficient co-fermentation of xylose and glucose at industrially relevant sugar concentrations when expressed in a strain lacking the HXT1-7 and GAL2 genes. CONCLUSIONS:Hxt11 is a cryptic sugar transporter of S. cerevisiae that previously has not been associated with effective d-xylose transport. Mutagenesis of Hxt11 yielded transporters that show a better affinity for d-xylose as compared to d-glucose while maintaining high transport rates. d-glucose and d-xylose co-consumption is due to a redistribution of the sugar transport flux while maintaining the total sugar conversion rate into ethanol. This method provides a single transporter solution for effective fermentation on lignocellulosic feedstocks.