Project description: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: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: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: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:The aim of present study is to understand the impact of xylose utilization on the Saccharomyces cerevisiae physiology after initial genetic engineering and in a strain with an improved xylose utilization phenotype. Overall design: A twenty four array study using total RNA recovered from xylose-utilizing Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strains M6880 and M7237 grown in chemostat culture.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a promising host for lignocellulosic bioethanol production, is unable to metabolize xylose. In attempts to confer xylose utilization ability in S. cerevisiae, a number of xylose isomerase (XI) genes have been expressed heterologously in this yeast. Although several of these XI encoding genes were functionally expressed in S. cerevisiae, the need still exists for a S. cerevisiae strain with improved xylose utilization ability for use in the commercial production of bioethanol. Although currently much effort has been devoted to achieve the objective, one of the solutions is to search for a new XI gene that would confer superior xylose utilization in S. cerevisiae. Here, we searched for novel XI genes from the protists residing in the hindgut of the termite Reticulitermes speratus. RESULTS:Eight novel XI genes were obtained from a cDNA library, prepared from the protists of the R. speratus hindgut, by PCR amplification using degenerated primers based on highly conserved regions of amino acid sequences of different XIs. Phylogenetic analysis classified these cloned XIs into two groups, one showed relatively high similarities to Bacteroidetes and the other was comparatively similar to Firmicutes. The growth rate and the xylose consumption rate of the S. cerevisiae strain expressing the novel XI, which exhibited highest XI activity among the eight XIs, were superior to those exhibited by the strain expressing the XI gene from Piromyces sp. E2. Substitution of the asparagine residue at position 337 of the novel XI with a cysteine further improved the xylose utilization ability of the yeast strain. Interestingly, introducing point mutations in the corresponding asparagine residues in XIs originated from other organisms, such as Piromyces sp. E2 or Clostridium phytofermentans, similarly improved xylose utilization in S. cerevisiae. CONCLUSIONS:A novel XI gene conferring superior xylose utilization in S. cerevisiae was successfully isolated from the protists in the termite hindgut. Isolation of this XI gene and identification of the point mutation described in this study might contribute to improving the productivity of industrial bioethanol.
Project description:To determine the genomic location of a gene that permits xylose utilization we conducted bulk segregant analysis (BSA) using Affymetrix yeast tiling arrays. BSA works by taking advantage of DNA sequence polymorphisms between different strains and the fact that it is relatively easy to pool large numbers of meiotic spore products (segregants) in yeast. Pooling segregants based on their phenotype allows the region of the genome responsible for the phenotype to be detected. This is because DNA polymorphisms in regions unlinked to the locus causing the phenotype will segregate randomly and be “evened” out, while around the genomic region of interest, sequences or polymorphisms responsible for the trait will be present in all positive segregants, and absent in all negative segregants. In our case, a Simi White wine strain (S. cerevisiae) carrying the locus responsible for xylose utilization was crossed to a laboratory strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae; this strain was estimated to carry DNA polymorphisms relative to the laboratory strain at a level of approximately .5%. Spores from the Simi White / S288c diploid were screened for the xylose utilization phenotype and 39 positive spores were combined into one pool and 39 negative spores into another pool, and genomic DNA (gDNA) was isolated from each pool. We then hybridized the positive and negative gDNA pools to tiling microarrays that were based on the S288c reference genome with the expectation that regions of the genome derived from Simi White will hybridize less robustly to the array because of the DNA polymorphisms between Simi White and S288c. Log2 ratios of probe intensities were calculated (negative/positive), and a peak appeared in the chromosome XV right subtelomeric region that corresponds to less robust hybridization to the microarray of the positive pool gDNA coming from this region of the genome Overall design: gDNA isolated from 39 pooled "xylose positive" S. cerevisiae segregants from ("Simi White" x S288c) compared to gDNA isolated from 39 pooled "xylose negative" segregants from the same cross
Project description:Enhancing xylose utilization has been a major focus in Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain-engineering efforts. The incentive for these studies arises from the need to use all sugars in the typical carbon mixtures that comprise standard renewable plant-biomass-based carbon sources. While major advances have been made in developing utilization pathways, the efficient import of five carbon sugars into the cell remains an important bottleneck in this endeavor. Here we use an engineered S. cerevisiae BY4742 strain, containing an established heterologous xylose utilization pathway, and imposed a laboratory evolution regime with xylose as the sole carbon source. We obtained several evolved strains with improved growth phenotypes and evaluated the best candidate using genome resequencing. We observed remarkably few single nucleotide polymorphisms in the evolved strain, among which we confirmed a single amino acid change in the hexose transporter HXT7 coding sequence to be responsible for the evolved phenotype. The mutant HXT7(F79S) shows improved xylose uptake rates (Vmax = 186.4 ± 20.1 nmol•min(-1)•mg(-1)) that allows the S. cerevisiae strain to show significant growth with xylose as the sole carbon source, as well as partial co-utilization of glucose and xylose in a mixed sugar cultivation.
Project description:Xylose utilization is one key issue for the bioconversion of lignocelluloses. It is a promising approach to engineering heterologous pathway for xylose utilization in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here, we constructed a xylose-fermenting yeast SyBE001 through combinatorial fine-tuning the expression of XylA and endogenous XKS1. Additional overexpression of genes RKI1, RPE1, TKL1, and TAL1 in the non-oxidative pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) in SyBE001 increased the xylose consumption rate by 1.19-fold. By repetitive adaptation, the xylose utilization rate was further increased by ?10-fold in the resultant strain SyBE003. Gene expression analysis identified a variety of genes with significantly changed expression in the PPP, glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid cycle in SyBE003.
Project description:Poly-3-d-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) is a promising biopolymer naturally produced by several bacterial species. In the present study, the robust baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was engineered to produce PHB from xylose, the main pentose found in lignocellulosic biomass. The PHB pathway genes from the well-characterized PHB producer Cupriavidus necator were introduced in recombinant S. cerevisiae strains already capable of pentose utilization by introduction of the fungal genes for xylose utilization from the yeast Scheffersomyces stipitis. PHB production from xylose was successfully demonstrated in shake-flasks experiments, with PHB yield of 1.17?±?0.18 mg PHB g(-1) xylose. Under well-controlled fully aerobic conditions, a titer of 101.7 mg PHB L(-1) was reached within 48 hours, with a PHB yield of 1.99?±?0.15 mg PHB g(-1) xylose, thereby demonstrating the potential of this host for PHB production from lignocellulose.