Identification of factors for improved ethylene production via the ethylene forming enzyme in chemostat cultures of Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Journal article, 2013
Biotechnological production of the traditional petrochemical ethylene is presently being explored using yeasts as well as bacteria. In this study we quantify the specific ethylene production levels at different conditions in continuous (chemostat) cultivation of Saccharomyces cerevisae expressing the ethylene forming enzyme (EFE) from Pseudomonas syringae.
Our study shows that oxygen availability is an important factor for the ethylene formation. Maintaining a high percentage dissolved oxygen in the cultivation was found to be necessary to achieve maximal ethylene productivity. Even at oxygen levels high enough to sustain respiratory metabolism the ethylene formation was restricted. Oxygen was also important for sustaining a high respiratory rate and to re-oxidize the surplus of NADH that accompanies ethylene formation. By employing three different nitrogen sources we further found that the nitrogen source available can both improve and impair the ethylene productivity. Contrary to findings in batch cultures, using glutamate did not give a significant increase in specific ethylene production levels compared to the reference condition with ammonia, whereas a combination of glutamate and arginine resulted in a strongly diminished specific ethylene production. Furthermore, from cultivations at different dilution rates the ethylene formation was found to be coupled to growth rate.
To optimize the ethylene productivity in S. cerevisiae expressing a bacterial ethylene forming enzyme, controlling the oxygen availability and growth rate as well as employing an ideal nitrogen source is of importance. The effects of these factors as studied here provide a basis for an optimized process for ethylene production in S. cerevisiae.