Robust S. cerevisiae strain for next generation bio-processes: concepts and case-studies
Conference poster, 2013
The realization of an oil independent economy relies on the development of competitive processes for the production of fuels and chemicals from renewable resources. The extensive research on second-generation ethanol has paved the way to a new concept of bio-based industry, where lignocellulosic material is the primary source of sugars, to be converted to a number of fuels and chemicals. Harsh conditions during the bioconversion of lignocellulose-derived sugars to the desired products drastically hamper cell viability and therefore productivity. Microbial inhibition limits bioprocesses to an extent such that it can be said that understanding and harnessing microbial robustness is a prerequisite for the feasibility of new bioprocess and the production of renewable fuels and chemicals.
Current research carried out by our group focuses on the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and aims at investigating the molecular bases of microbial robustness. Our efforts include the identification of the molecular targets of different classes of fermentation inhibitors aiming at understanding the complex responses of the cells to these compounds. The final goal is to engineer more robust strains. The concept of robustness will be discussed and examples of key features for S. cerevisiae robustness as well as examples of successful engineering to increase robustness will be presented.