Improvement of thermotolerance in Lachancea thermotolerans using a bacterial selection pressure
Journal article, 2019

The use of thermotolerant yeast strains is an important attribute for a cost-effective high temperature biofermentation processes. However, the availability of thermotolerant yeast strains remains a major challenge. Isolation of temperature resistant strains from extreme environments or the improvements of current strains are two major strategies known to date. We hypothesised that bacteria are potential “hurdles” in the life cycle of yeasts, which could influence the evolution of extreme phenotypes, such as thermotolerance. We subjected a wild-type yeast, Lachancea thermotolerans to six species of bacteria sequentially for several generations. After coevolution, we observed that three replicate lines of yeasts grown in the presence of bacteria grew up to 37 °C whereas the controls run in parallel without bacteria could only grow poorly at 35 °C retaining the ancestral mesophilic trait. In addition to improvement of thermotolerance, our results show that the fermentative ability was also elevated, making the strains more ideal for the alcoholic fermentation process because the overall productivity and ethanol titers per unit volume of substrate consumed during the fermentation process was increased. Our unique method is attractive for the development of thermotolerant strains or to augment the available strain development approaches for high temperature industrial biofermentation.

Experimental evolution

Yeast-bacteria coevolution


Alcoholic fermentation


Nerve Zhou

Botswana International University of Science and Technology

Lund University

Olena Ishchuk

Lund University

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Systems and Synthetic Biology

Wolfgang Knecht

Lund University

C. Compagno

University of Milan

Jure Piškur

Lund University

Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology

1367-5435 (ISSN) 1476-5535 (eISSN)

Vol. 46 2 133-145

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Renewable Bioenergy Research






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