1887

Abstract

Lignocellulose contains two pentose sugars, -arabinose and -xylose, neither of which is naturally fermented by first generation (1G) ethanol-producing yeast. Since these sugars are inaccessible to 1G yeast, a significant percentage of the total carbon in bioethanol production from plant residues, which are used in second generation (2G) ethanol production, remains unused. Recombinant strains capable of fermenting -xylose are available on the market; however, there are few examples of -arabinose-fermenting yeasts, and commercially, there are no strains capable of fermenting both -xylose and -arabinose because of metabolic incompatibilities when both metabolic pathways are expressed in the same cell. To attempt to solve this problem we have tested -xylose and -arabinose co-fermentation. To find efficient alternative -arabinose utilization pathways to the few existing ones, we have used stringent methodology to screen for new genes (metabolic and transporter functions) to facilitate -arabinose fermentation in recombinant yeast. We demonstrate the feasibility of this approach in a successfully constructed yeast strain capable of using -arabinose as the sole carbon source and capable of fully transforming it to ethanol, reaching the maximum theoretical fermentation yield (0.43 g g). We demonstrate that efficient co-fermentation of -xylose and -arabinose is feasible using two different co-cultured strains, and observed no fermentation delays, yield drops or accumulation of undesired byproducts. In this study we have identified a technically efficient strategy to enhance ethanol yields by 10 % in 2G plants in a process based on C5 sugar co-fermentation.

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2017-04-01
2020-01-24
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