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Saccharomyces cerevisiae exhibiting a modified route for uptake and catabolism of glycerol forms significant amounts of ethanol from this carbon source considered as 'non-fermentable'.

ABSTRACT: Background:Due to its inevitable formation during biodiesel production and its relatively high degree of reduction, glycerol is an attractive carbon source for microbial fermentation processes. However, glycerol is catabolized in a fully respiratory manner by the eukaryotic platform organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We previously engineered S. cerevisiae strains to favor fermentative metabolism of glycerol by replacing the native FAD-dependent glycerol catabolic pathway with the NAD-dependent 'DHA pathway'. In addition, a heterologous aquaglyceroporin (Fps1 homolog) was expressed to facilitate glycerol uptake. The current study was launched to scrutinize the formation of S. cerevisiae's natural fermentation product ethanol from glycerol caused by the conducted genetic modifications. This understanding is supposed to facilitate future engineering of this yeast for fermenting glycerol into valuable products more reduced than ethanol. Results:A strain solely exhibiting the glycerol catabolic pathway replacement produced ethanol at concentrations close to the detection limit. The expression of the heterologous aquaglyceroporin caused significant ethanol production (8.5 g L-1 from 51.5 g L-1 glycerol consumed) in a strain catabolizing glycerol via the DHA pathway but not in the wild-type background. A reduction of oxygen availability in the shake flask cultures further increased the ethanol titer up to 15.7 g L-1 (from 45 g L-1 glycerol consumed). Conclusion:The increased yield of cytosolic NADH caused by the glycerol catabolic pathway replacement seems to be a minimal requirement for the occurrence of alcoholic fermentation in S. cerevisiae growing in synthetic glycerol medium. The remarkable metabolic switch to ethanol formation in the DHA pathway strain with the heterologous aquaglyceroporin supports the assumption of a much stronger influx of glycerol accompanied by an increased rate of cytosolic NADH production via the DHA pathway. The fact that a reduction of oxygen supply increases ethanol production in DHA pathway strains is in line with the hypothesis that a major part of glycerol in normal shake flask cultures still enters the catabolism in a respiratory manner.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6822349 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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