Characterization of a novel non-GMO yeast for future lignocellulosic bioethanol production
Conference contribution, 2014
CHARACTERIZATION OF A NOVEL NON-GMO YEAST FOR FUTURE LIGNOCELLULOSIC BIOETHANOL PRODUCTION
Cecilia Geijer1, David Moreno1, Elia Tomas Pejo1, 2, Lisbeth Olsson1
1 Industrial Biotechnology , Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
2Unit of Biotechnological Processes for Energy Production, IMDEA Energy, Móstoles (Madrid), Spain
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Concerns about climate change and the uncertainty about future fuel supply make renewable biofuels, such as bioethanol, attractive alternatives to fossil fuels in the short/medium term. Lignocellulosic biomass (for example spruce, wheat straw and corn stover) is an abundant raw material that can be utilized to produce ethanol with the help of a fermenting microorganism. Traditionally the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is used for industrial ethanol production. S. cerevisiae can be metabolically engineered to consume xylose (the second to glucose most prevalent monosaccharide in lignocellulose). However, despite many years of intensive research, it can still not ferment xylose in a satisfying way which affects the overall ethanol yield negatively. We have isolated a non-genetically modified (non-GMO) yeast species (here called C5-yeast) that has the natural ability to efficiently produce ethanol from glucose and xylose. The aim of the project is to further characterize the growth and fermentation capacities of this novel microorganism to elucidate its’ potential for lignocellulosic bioethanol production. We can show that besides glucose and xylose, the C5-yeast can also consume the pentose arabinose and the disaccharide cellobiose; both present in lignocellulosic hydrolysates. The C5-yeast rapidly converts the inhibitory sugar degradation products HMF and furfural formed during the conversion of lignocellulosic material into fermentable sugars.