Improving and characterising solid-state fungal pretreatment by Phanerochaete chrysosporium for sugar production from poplar wood

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Journal: Antwerp, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Engineering, 2023, 206 p.
Authors: Wittner N., Cornet I., Vlaeminck S.

Pretreatment is a critical step in the conversion of lignocellulose into biofuels and biochemicals. During pretreatment, the recalcitrance of lignocellulose is reduced, e.g.
by removing lignin, thereby making the carbohydrates more accessible for enzymatic saccharification. Fungal delignification by white-rot fungi is a biotechnological alternative to chemical/physicochemical methods, which is carried out in solid-state fermentation with mild reaction conditions and without the formation of microbial inhibitors. However, fungal retreatment presents some challenges, such as long pretreatment time, non-selective and low delignification, low enzymatic digestibility and feedstock sterilisation requirement, making its commercial implementation challenging compared to conventional methods.


The effect of growth inhibiting compounds of grease trap waste on Candida tropicalis ATCC 20962

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Journal: Biochemical engineering journal - ISSN 1873-295X - 195(2023), 108935
Authors: Gilis B., Waeghe E., Cop N.s, De Sitter K., van Bogaert I., Cornet I.

The production of chemicals through a circular economy is becoming increasingly important and one way to achieve this is through the utilisation of waste streams. One such waste stream that holds potential for production of chemicals through biochemical methods is grease trap waste (GTW). However, before this waste stream can be used in bioprocesses, it is crucial to understand its effects on the process. This study explores the toxicity of the GTW on the growth of Candida tropicalis ATCC 20962, a yeast that is applied to convert lipids into valuable long-chain dicarboxylic acids (LCDAs). The GTW is characterised and the inhibition of the different components on the growth of C. tropicalis is examined. Results indicate significant inhibition of yeast growth at a concentration of 40 g/L of GTW and higher. Further analysis confirms that the presence of anionic detergents may partially contribute to this inhibition. In contrast, the pesticides, free fatty acids and heavy metals did not appear to significantly affect the growth of C. tropicalis. Although this study suggests that GTW could be a suitable feedstock for Candida tropicalis ATCC 20962, more research is required to identify other potentially toxic components and to determine if pre-treatment is necessary for industrial applications.

Rapid lignin quantification for fungal wood pretreatment by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy

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Journal: Spectrochimica acta: part A: molecular and biomolecular spectroscopy - ISSN 1873-3557 - 285(2023), 121912
Authors: Wittner N., Slezsák J., Broos W., Geerts J., Gergely S., Vlaeminck S., Cornet I.

Lignin determination in lignocellulose with the conventional two-step acid hydrolysis method is highly laborious and time-consuming. However, its quantification is crucial to monitor fungal pretreatment of wood, as the increase of acid-insoluble lignin (AIL) degradation linearly correlates with the achievable enzymatic saccharification yield. Therefore, in this study, a new attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy method was developed to track fungal delignification in an easy and rapid manner.

Partial least square regression (PLSR) with cross-validation (CV) was applied to correlate the ATR-FTIR spectra with the AIL content (19.9 %–27.1 %). After variable selection and normalization, a PLSR model with a high coefficient of determination (
= 0.87) and a low root mean square (RMSECV = 0.60 %) were obtained despite the heterogeneous nature of the fungal solid-state fermentation. These results show that ATR-FTIR can reliably predict the AIL content in fungus-treated wood while being a high-throughput method. This novel method can facilitate the transition to the wood-based economy.

Follow-up of solid-state fungal wood pretreatment by a novel near-infrared spectroscopy-based lignin calibration model

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Journal: Journal of microbiological methods - ISSN 1872-8359 - 208(2023), 106725
Authors: Wittner N., Gergely S., Slezsák J., Broos W., Vlaeminck S., Cornet I.

Lignin removal plays a crucial role in the efficient bioconversion of lignocellulose to fermentable sugars. As a delignification process, fungal pretreatment has gained great interest due to its environmental friendliness and low energy consumption. In our previous study, a positive linear correlation between acid-insoluble lignin degradation and the achievable enzymatic saccharification yield has been found, hereby highlighting the importance of the close follow-up of lignin degradation during the solid-state fungal pretreatment process.

However, the standard quantification of lignin, which relies on the two-step acid hydrolysis of the biomass, is highly laborious and time-consuming. Vibrational spectroscopy has been proven as a fast and easy alternative; however, it has not been extensively researched on lignocellulose subjected to solid-state fungal pretreatment. Therefore, the present study examined the suitability of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) for the rapid and easy assessment of lignin content in poplar wood pretreated with Phanerochaete chrysosporium. Furthermore, the predictive power of the obtained calibration model and the recently published ATR-FTIR spectroscopy-based model were compared for the first time using the same fungus-treated wood data set.

PLSR was used to correlate the NIR spectra to the acid-insoluble lignin contents (19.9%–27.1%) of pretreated wood. After normalization and second derivation, a PLSR model with a good coefficient of determination (RCV2 = 0.89) and a low root mean square error (RMSECV = 0.55%) were obtained despite the heterogeneous nature of the fungal solid-state fermentation. The performance of this PLSR model was comparably good to the one obtained by ATR-FTIR (RCV2 = 0.87) while it required more extensive spectral pre-processing. In conclusion, both methods will be highly useful for the high-throughput and user-friendly monitoring of lignin degradation in a solid-state fungal pretreatment-based biorefinery concept.

Open (non-sterile) cultivations of Debaryomyces hansenii for recombinant protein production combining industrial side-streams with high salt content

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Journal: New Biotechnology 2023, 78, 105 - 115
Authors: Estrada, M.; Navarrete, C.; Møller, S.; Quirós, M.; Martínez, J.L.

The halotolerant non-conventional yeast Debaryomyces hansenii can grow in media containing high concentrations of salt (up to 4 M), metabolize alternative carbon sources than glucose, such as lactose or glycerol, and withstand a wide range of temperatures and pH. These inherent capabilities allow this yeast to grow in harsh environments and use alternative feedstock than traditional commercial media. For example, D. hansenii could be a potential cell factory for revalorizing industrial salty by-products, using them as a substrate for producing new valuable bioproducts, boosting a circular economy. In this work, three different salty by-products derived from the dairy and biopharmaceutical industry have been tested as a possible feedstock for D. hansenii’s growth. The yeast was not only able to grow efficiently in all of them but also to produce a recombinant protein (Yellow Fluorescent Protein, used as a model) without altering its performance. Moreover, open cultivations at different laboratory scales (1.5 mL and 1 L) were performed under non-sterile conditions and without adding fresh water or any nutritional supplement to the cultivation, making the process cheaper and more sustainable

Genetic inactivation of the Carnitine/Acetyl-Carnitine mitochondrial carrier of Yarrowia lipolytica leads to enhanced odd-chain fatty acid production

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Journal: Microbial Cell Factories 2023, 22, 128
Authors: Messina, E.; de Souza, C.P.; Cappella, C.; Barile, S.N.; Scarcia, P.; Pisano, I.; Palmieri, L.; Nicaud, J.-M.; Agrimi, G.

Mitochondrial carriers (MCs) can deeply affect the intracellular flux distribution of metabolic pathways. The manipulation of their expression level, to redirect the flux toward the production of a molecule of interest, is an attractive target for the metabolic engineering of eukaryotic microorganisms. The non-conventional yeast Yarrowia lipolytica is able to use a wide range of substrates. As oleaginous yeast, it directs most of the acetyl-CoA therefrom generated towards the synthesis of lipids, which occurs in the cytoplasm. Among them, the odd-chain fatty acids (OCFAs) are promising microbial-based compounds with several applications in the medical, cosmetic, chemical and agricultural industries.

In this study, we have identified the MC involved in the Carnitine/Acetyl-Carnitine shuttle in Y. lipolytica, YlCrc1. The Y. lipolytica Ylcrc1 knock-out strain failed to grow on ethanol, acetate and oleic acid, demonstrating the fundamental role of this MC in the transport of acetyl-CoA from peroxisomes and cytoplasm into mitochondria. A metabolic engineering strategy involving the deletion of YlCRC1, and the recombinant expression of propionyl-CoA transferase from Ralstonia eutropha (RePCT), improved propionate utilization and its conversion into OCFAs. These genetic modifications and a lipogenic medium supplemented with glucose and propionate as the sole carbon sources, led to enhanced accumulation of OCFAs in Y. lipolytica.

The Carnitine/Acetyl-Carnitine shuttle of Y. lipolytica involving YlCrc1, is the sole pathway for transporting peroxisomal or cytosolic acetyl-CoA to mitochondria. Manipulation of this carrier can be a promising target for metabolic engineering approaches involving cytosolic acetyl-CoA, as demonstrated by the effect of YlCRC1 deletion on OCFAs synthesis.

The second intracellular loop of the yeast Trk1 potassium transporter is involved in regulation of activity, and interaction with 14–3-3 proteins

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Journal: Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal 2023, 21, 2705-2716
Authors: Masaryk, J.; Kale, D.; Pohl, P.; Ruiz-Castilla, F.J.; Zimmermannová, O.; Obšilová, V.; Ramos, J.; Sychrová, H.

Potassium is an essential intracellular ion, and a sufficient intracellular concentration of it is crucial for many processes; therefore it is fundamental for cells to precisely regulate K+ uptake and efflux through the plasma membrane. The uniporter Trk1 is a key player in K+ acquisition in yeasts. The TRK1 gene is expressed at a low and stable level; thus the activity of the transporter needs to be regulated at a posttranslational level. S. cerevisiae Trk1 changes its activity and affinity for potassium ion quickly and according to both internal and external concentrations of K+, as well as the membrane potential. The molecular basis of these changes has not been elucidated, though phosphorylation is thought to play an important role. In this study, we examined the role of the second, short, and highly conserved intracellular hydrophilic loop of Trk1 (IL2), and identified two phosphorylable residues (Ser882 and Thr900) as very important for 1) the structure of the loop and consequently for the targeting of Trk1 to the plasma membrane, and 2) the upregulation of the transporter’s activity reaching maximal affinity under low external K+ conditions. Moreover, we identified three residues (Thr155, Ser414, and Thr900) within the Trk1 protein as strong candidates for interaction with 14–3–3 regulatory proteins, and showed, in an in vitro experiment, that phosphorylated Thr900 of the IL2 indeed binds to both isoforms of yeast 14–3–3 proteins, Bmh1 and Bmh2.

Sodium and lithium exert differential effects on the central carbon metabolism of Debaryomyces hansenii through the glyoxylate shunt regulation

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Journal: Yeast 2023, yea.3856
Authors: Ruiz-Pérez, F. S.; Ruiz-Castilla, F. J.; Leal, C.; Martínez, J. L.; Ramos, J.

Debaryomyces hansenii is a halotolerant/halophilic yeast usually found in salty environments. The yeast accumulated sodium at high concentrations, which improved growth in salty media. In contrast, lithium was toxic even at low concentrations and its presence prevented cell proliferation. To analyse the responses to both cations, metabolite levels, enzymatic activities and gene expression were determined, showing that NaCl and LiCl trigger different cellular responses. At high concentrations of NaCl (0.5 or 1.5 M) cells accumulated higher amounts of the intermediate metabolites glyoxylate and malate and, at the same time, the levels of intracellular oxoglutarate decreased. Additionally, 0.5 M NaCl increased the activity of the enzymes isocitrate lyase and malate synthase involved in the synthesis of glyoxylate and malate respectively and decreased the activity of isocitrate dehydrogenase. Moreover, transcription of the genes coding for isocitrate lyase and malate synthase was activated by NaCl. Also, cells accumulated phosphate upon NaCl exposure. None of these effects was provoked when LiCl (0.1 or 0.3 M) was used instead of NaCl. Lithium induced accumulation of higher amounts of oxoglutarate and decreased the concentrations of glyoxylate and malate to non-detectable levels. Cells incubated with lithium also showed higher activity of the isocitrate dehydrogenase and neither increased isocitrate lyase and malate synthase activities nor the transcription of the corresponding genes. In summary, we show that sodium, but not lithium, up regulates the shunt of the glyoxylic acid in D. hansenii and we propose that this is an important metabolic adaptation to thrive in salty environments.

Scheffersomyces stipitis ability to valorize different residual biomasses for vitamin B9 production

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Journal: Microbial Biotechnology 2023, 16, 392-403
Authors: Mastella, L.; Senatore, V.; Beltrani, T.; Branduardi, P.
Sugar beet pulp (SBP), sugar beet molasses (SBM) and unfermented grape marcs (UGM) represent important waste in the agro-food sector. If suitably pre-treated, hexose and pentose sugars can be released in high quantities and can subsequently be used by appropriate cell factories as growth media and for the production of (complex) biomolecules, accomplishing the growing demand for products obtained from sustainable resources. One example is vitamin B9 or folate, a B-complex vitamin currently produced by chemical synthesis, almost exclusively in the oxidized form of folic acid (FA). It is therefore desirable to develop novel competitive strategies for replacing its current fossil-based production with a sustainable bio-based process. In this study, we assessed the production of natural folate by the yeast Scheffersomyces stipitis, investigating SBM, SBP and UGM as potential growth media. Pre-treatment of SBM and SBP had previously been optimized in our laboratory; thus, here we focused only on UGM pre-treatment and hydrolysis strategies for the release of fermentable sugars. Then, we optimized the growth of S. stipitis on the three media formulated from those biomasses, working on inoculum pre-adaptation, oxygen availability and supplementation of necessary nutrients to support the microorganism. Folate production, measured with a microbiological assay, reached 188.2 ± 24.86 μg/L on SBM, 130.6 ± 1.34 μg/L on SBP and 101.9 ± 6.62 μg/L on UGM. Here, we demonstrate the flexibility of S. stipitis in utilizing different residual biomasses as growth media. Moreover, we assessed the production of folate from waste, and to the best of our knowledge, we obtained the highest production of folate from residual biomasses ever reported, providing the first indications for the future development of this microbial production process.

Light-induced antifungal activity of nanoparticles with an encapsulated porphyrin photosensitizer

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Journal: Microbiological Research 2023, 269, 127303
Authors: Kodedová, M.; Liška, V.; Mosinger, J.; Sychrová, H.
The strong antifungal effect of sulfonated polystyrene nanoparticles (NPs) with an encapsulated tetraphenylporphyrin (TPP) photosensitizer is reported here. TPP is activated by visible light, resulting in the generation of singlet oxygen. Its antifungal action is potentiated in the presence of potassium iodide, yielding I2/I3⁻, another antifungal species. The NPs exhibit no dark toxicity, but a broad spectrum of antifungal photodynamic effects. The efficiency of this rapid killing (on the order of minutes) depends on the concentration of TPP NPs, potassium iodide, yeast species and temperature. A strong antifungal activity of TPP NPs is demonstrated on eleven pathogenic and opportunistic pathogenic yeast species (six Candida species and other yeast species, including melanized Hortaea werneckii). The composition and architecture of yeast cell envelope structures clearly influence the efficacy of photodynamic therapy. Candida krusei is the most sensitive to photodynamic therapy. Despite expectations, melanin does not provide Hortaea cells with marked resistance compared to white yeast species. The kinetics of the interaction of NPs with yeast cells is also described. This study may inspire and promote the fabrication of a new type of antiseptic for various skin injuries in clinical medicine.

Heterologous expression reveals unique properties of Trk K+ importers from nonconventional biotechnologically relevant yeast species together with their potential to support Saccharomyces cerevisiae growth

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Journal: Yeast 2023, 40(2), 68-83
Authors: Papoušková, K.; Gómez, M.; Kodedová, M.; Ramos, J.; Zimmermannová, O.; Sychrová, H.
In the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Trk1 is the main K+ importer. It is involved in many important physiological processes, such as the maintenance of ion homeostasis, cell volume, intracellular pH, and plasma-membrane potential. The ScTrk1 protein can be of great interest to industry, as it was shown that changes in its activity influence ethanol production and tolerance in S. cerevisiae and also cell performance in the presence of organic acids or high ammonium under low K+ conditions. Nonconventional yeast species are attracting attention due to their unique properties and as a potential source of genes that encode proteins with unusual characteristics. In this work, we aimed to study and compare Trk proteins from Debaryomyces hansenii, Hortaea werneckii, Kluyveromyces marxianus, and Yarrowia lipolytica, four biotechnologically relevant yeasts that tolerate various extreme environments. Heterologous expression in S. cerevisiae cells lacking the endogenous Trk importers revealed differences in the studied Trk proteins’ abilities to support the growth of cells under various cultivation conditions such as low K+ or the presence of toxic cations, to reduce plasma-membrane potential or to take up Rb+. Examination of the potential of Trks to support the stress resistance of S. cerevisiae wild-type strains showed that Y. lipolytica Trk1 is a promising tool for improving cell tolerance to both low K+ and high salt and that the overproduction of S. cerevisiae’s own Trk1 was the most efficient at improving the growth of cells in the presence of highly toxic Li+ ions.

Utilization of salt-rich by-products from the dairy industry as feedstock for recombinant protein production by Debaryomyces hansenii

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Journal: Microbial Biotechnology 2023, 16, 404–417
Authors: Estrada, M.; Navarrete, C.; Møller, S.; Procentese, A.; Martínez, J.L.
The dairy industry processes vast amounts of milk and generates high amounts of secondary by-products, which are still rich in nutrients (high Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) levels) but contain high concentrations of salt. The current European legislation only allows disposing of these effluents directly into the waterways with previous treatment, which is laborious and expensive. Therefore, as much as possible, these by-products are reutilized as animal feed material and, if not applicable, used as fertilizers adding phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, and other nutrients to the soil. Finding biological alternatives to revalue dairy by-products is of crucial interest in order to improve the utilization of dry dairy matter and reduce the environmental impact of every litre of milk produced. Debaryomyces hansenii is a halotolerant non-conventional yeast with high potential for this purpose. It presents some beneficial traits – capacity to metabolize a variety of sugars, tolerance to high osmotic environments, resistance to extreme temperatures and pHs – that make this yeast a well-suited option to grow using complex feedstock, such as industrial waste, instead of the traditional commercial media. In this work, we study for the first time D. hansenii’s ability to grow and produce a recombinant protein (YFP) from dairy saline whey by-products. Cultivations at different scales (1.5, 100 and 500 ml) were performed without neither sterilizing the medium nor using pure water. Our results conclude that D. hansenii is able to perform well and produce YFP in the aforementioned salty substrate. Interestingly, it is able to outcompete other microorganisms present in the waste without altering its cell performance or protein production capacity.

Yeast GH30 xylanase from Sugiyamaella lignohabitans is a glucuronoxylanase with auxiliary xylobiohydrolase activity

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Journal: Molecules 2022, 27(3), 751
Authors: Šuchová, K.; Chyba, A.; Hegyi, Z.; Rebroš, M.; Puchart, V.

Xylanases are the enzymes that catalyze the breakdown of the main hemicellulose present in plant cell walls. They have attracted attention due to their biotechnological potential for the preparation of industrially interesting products from lignocellulose. While many xylanases have been characterized from bacteria and filamentous fungi, information on yeast xylanases is scarce and no yeast xylanase belonging to glycoside hydrolase (GH) family 30 has been described so far. Here, we cloned, expressed and characterized GH30 xylanase SlXyn30A from the yeast Sugiyamaella lignohabitans. The enzyme is active on glucuronoxylan (8.4 U/mg) and rhodymenan (linear β-1,4-1,3-xylan) (3.1 U/mg) while its activity on arabinoxylan is very low (0.03 U/mg). From glucuronoxylan SlXyn30A releases a series of acidic xylooligosaccharides of general formula MeGlcA2Xyln. These products, which are typical for GH30-specific glucuronoxylanases, are subsequently shortened at the non-reducing end, from which xylobiose moieties are liberated. Xylobiohydrolase activity was also observed during the hydrolysis of various xylooligosaccharides. SlXyn30A thus expands the group of glucuronoxylanases/xylobiohydrolases which has been hitherto represented only by several fungal GH30-7 members.

Antimicrobial and prebiotic activity of mannoproteins isolated from conventional and nonconventional yeast species—The study on selected microorganisms

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Journal: World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 2022, 38, 256
Authors: Bzducha-Wróbel, A.; Farkaš, P.; Chraniuk, P.; Popielarz, D.; Synowiec, A.; Pobiega, K.; Janowicz, M.
[Metschnikowia 1=”(M.” 2=”reukaufii)” 3=”WLP” 4=”4650″ 5=”and” 6=”Wickerhamomyces” 7=”anomalus” 8=”(W.” 9=”anomalus)” 10=”CCY” 11=”38-1-13″ _i=”0″ _address=”″ /]

Combining metabolic engineering and multiplexed screening methods for 3-hydroxypropionic acid production in Pichia pastoris

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Journal: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 2022, 103, 4017–4031
Authors: Fina, A.; Heux, S.; Albiol, J.; Ferrer, P.
Production of 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP) in Pichia pastoris (syn. Komagataella phaffii) via the malonyl-CoA pathway has been recently demonstrated using glycerol as a carbon source, but the reported metrics were not commercially relevant. The flux through the heterologous pathway from malonyl-CoA to 3-HP was hypothesized as the main bottleneck. In the present study, different metabolic engineering approaches have been combined to improve the productivity of the original 3-HP producing strains. To do so, an additional copy of the gene encoding for the potential rate-limiting step of the pathway, i.e., the C-terminal domain of the malonyl-CoA reductase, was introduced. In addition, a variant of the endogenous acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC1S1132A) was overexpressed with the aim to increase the delivery of malonyl-CoA. Furthermore, the genes encoding for the pyruvate decarboxylase, aldehyde dehydrogenase and acetyl-CoA synthase, respectively, were overexpressed to enhance conversion of pyruvate into cytosolic acetyl-CoA, and the main gene responsible for the production of the by-product D-arabitol was deleted. Three different screening conditions were used to classify the performance of the different strains: 24-deep-well plates batch cultures, small-scale cultures in falcon tubes using FeedBeads® (i.e., slow release of glycerol over time), and mini bioreactor batch cultures. The best two strains from the FeedBeads® screening, PpHP8 and PpHP18, were tested in bioreactor fed-batch cultures using a pre-fixed exponentially increasing feeding rate. The strain PpHP18 produced up to 37.05 g L−1 of 3-HP at 0.712 g L−1 h−1 with a final product yield on glycerol of 0.194 Cmol−1 in fed-batch cultures. Remarkably, PpHP18 did not rank among the 2-top producer strains in small scale batch cultivations in deep-well plates and mini bioreactors, highlighting the importance of multiplexed screening conditions for adequate assessment of metabolic engineering strategies. These results represent a 50% increase in the product yield and final concentration, as well as over 30% increase in volumetric productivity compared to the previously obtained metrics for P. pastoris. Overall, the combination of glycerol as carbon source and a metabolically engineered P. pastoris strain resulted in the highest 3-HP concentration and productivity reported so far in yeast.

The cell wall and the response and tolerance to stresses of biotechnological relevance in yeasts

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Journal: Frontiers in Microbiology 2022, 13, 953479
Authors: Ribeiro, R.A.; Bourbon-Melo, N.; Sá-Correia, I.
In industrial settings and processes, yeasts may face multiple adverse environmental conditions. These include exposure to non-optimal temperatures or pH, osmotic stress, and deleterious concentrations of diverse inhibitory compounds. These toxic chemicals may result from the desired accumulation of added-value bio-products, yeast metabolism, or be present or derive from the pre-treatment of feedstocks, as in lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysates. Adaptation and tolerance to industrially relevant stress factors involve highly complex and coordinated molecular mechanisms occurring in the yeast cell with repercussions on the performance and economy of bioprocesses, or on the microbiological stability and conservation of foods, beverages, and other goods. To sense, survive, and adapt to different stresses, yeasts rely on a network of signaling pathways to modulate the global transcriptional response and elicit coordinated changes in the cell. These pathways cooperate and tightly regulate the composition, organization and biophysical properties of the cell wall. The intricacy of the underlying regulatory networks reflects the major role of the cell wall as the first line of defense against a wide range of environmental stresses. However, the involvement of cell wall in the adaptation and tolerance of yeasts to multiple stresses of biotechnological relevance has not received the deserved attention. This article provides an overview of the molecular mechanisms involved in fine-tuning cell wall physicochemical properties during the stress response of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and their implication in stress tolerance. The available information for non-conventional yeast species is also included. These non-Saccharomyces species have recently been on the focus of very active research to better explore or control their biotechnological potential envisaging the transition to a sustainable circular bioeconomy.

Towards valorization of pectin-rich agro-industrial residues: Engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for co-fermentation of D-galacturonic acid and glycerol

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Journal: Metabolic Engineering 2022, 69, 1-14
Authors: Perpelea, A.; Wijaya, A.W.; Martins, L.C.; Rippert, D.; Klein, M.; Angelov, A.; Peltonen, K.; Teleki, A.; Liebl, W.; Richard, P.; Thevelein, J.M.; Takors, R.; Sá-Correia, I.; Nevoigt, E.
Pectin-rich plant biomass residues represent underutilized feedstocks for industrial biotechnology. The conversion of the oxidized monomer D-galacturonic acid (D-GalUA) to highly reduced fermentation products such as alcohols is impossible due to the lack of electrons. The reduced compound glycerol has therefore been considered an optimal co-substrate, and a cell factory able to efficiently co-ferment these two carbon sources is in demand. Here, we inserted the fungal D-GalUA pathway in a strain of the yeast S. cerevisiae previously equipped with an NAD-dependent glycerol catabolic pathway. The constructed strain was able to consume D-GalUA with the highest reported maximum specific rate of 0.23 g gCDW−1 h−1 in synthetic minimal medium when glycerol was added. By means of a 13C isotope-labelling analysis, carbon from both substrates was shown to end up in pyruvate. The study delivers the proof of concept for a co-fermentation of the two ‘respiratory’ carbon sources to ethanol and demonstrates a fast and complete consumption of D-GalUA in crude sugar beet pulp hydrolysate under aerobic conditions. The future challenge will be to achieve co-fermentation under industrial, quasi-anaerobic conditions.

Genome sequence and analysis of the flavinogenic yeast Candida membranifaciens IST 626

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Journal: Journal of Fungi 2022, 8(3), 254
Authors: Palma, M.; Mondo, S.; Pereira, M.; Vieira, É.; Grigoriev, I.V.; Sá-Correia, I.
The ascomycetous yeast Candida membranifaciens has been isolated from diverse habitats, including humans, insects, and environmental sources, exhibiting a remarkable ability to use different carbon sources that include pentoses, melibiose, and inulin. In this study, we isolated four C. membranifaciens strains from soil and investigated their potential to overproduce riboflavin. C. membranifaciens IST 626 was found to produce the highest concentrations of riboflavin. The volumetric production of this vitamin was higher when C. membranifaciens IST 626 cells were cultured in a commercial medium without iron and when xylose was the available carbon source compared to the same basal medium with glucose. Supplementation of the growth medium with 2 g/L glycine favored the metabolization of xylose, leading to biomass increase and consequent enhancement of riboflavin volumetric production that reached 120 mg/L after 216 h of cultivation. To gain new insights into the molecular basis of riboflavin production and carbon source utilization in this species, the first annotated genome sequence of C. membranifaciens is reported in this article, as well as the result of a comparative genomic analysis with other relevant yeast species. A total of 5619 genes were predicted to be present in C. membranifaciens IST 626 genome sequence (11.5 Mbp). Among them are genes involved in riboflavin biosynthesis, iron homeostasis, and sugar uptake and metabolism. This work put forward C. membranifaciens IST 626 as a riboflavin overproducer and provides valuable molecular data for future development of superior producing strains capable of using the wide range of carbon sources, which is a characteristic trait of the species.

Exploring the biological function of efflux pumps for the development of superior industrial yeasts

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Journal: Current Opinion in Biotechnology 2022, 74, 32-41
Authors: Sá-Correia, I.; Godinho, C.P.
Among the mechanisms used by yeasts to overcome the deleterious effects of chemical and other environmental stresses is the activity of plasma membrane efflux pumps involved in multidrug resistance (MDR), a role on the focus of intensive research for years in pathogenic yeasts. More recently, these active transporters belonging to the MFS (Drug: H+ antiporters) or the ABC superfamily have been involved in resistance to xenobiotic compounds and in the transport of substrates with a clear physiological role. This review paper focuses on these putative efflux pumps concerning their tolerance phenotypes towards bioprocess-specific multiple stress factors, expression levels, physiological roles, and mechanisms by which they may lead to multistress resistance. Their association with the increased secretion of metabolites and other bioproducts and in the development of more robust superior strains for Yeast Chemical Biotechnology is highlighted.

Characterization of a new Blastobotrys navarrensis strain indicates that it is not a later synonym of Blastobotrys proliferans

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Journal: International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 2022, 72(5), 005388
Authors: Palma, M.; Vieira, É.; Pataco, M.; Sá-Correia, I.
The species Blastobotrys navarrensis Sesma and Ramirez was delineated based on the description of the single strain CBS 139.77T. Based on its phenotypic similarities to Blastobotrys proliferans, B. navarrensis CBS 139.77T was later considered a synonym of B. proliferans. In the present study, we isolated the yeast strain IST 508 (=PYCC 8784=CBS 16671) from the soil surrounding an olive tree in Ferreira do Alentejo, Portugal. The phylogenetic analysis of D1/D2 domain and ITS sequences from strain IST 508 indicates that is closely related to B. navarrensis and B. proliferans. Although strain IST 508 differs from B. navarrensis CBS 139.77T by 14 substitutions and 20 indels (6.6 % divergence) in the ITS sequence, no divergence was detected at the level of D1/D2 domain, mitochondrial small subunit rDNA, and cytochrome oxidase II sequences. On the other hand, strains IST 508 and CBS 139.77 differ from B. proliferans NRRL Y-17577T by eight substitutions (1.4 % divergence) in the D1/ D2 domain sequence, by 16 substitutions (2.7 % divergence) in the cytochrome oxidase II sequence, and by 16 substitutions (3.7 % divergence) in the mitochondrial small subunit rDNA sequence. Due to the high number of variable phenotypic tests in B. proliferans and B. navarrensis, strains from the two species are difficult to distinguish. Contrasting with what is described for other Blastobotrys species, no differences were detected at the level of micromorphology between the two species. Nevertheless, based on the molecular differences between the two strains, CBS 139.77 and IST 508, and B. proliferans NRRL Y-17577T and their phylogenetic analysis, strains CBS 139.77 and IST 508 are from B. navarrensis and this species should be considered as an independent species and not a later synonym of B. proliferans. We propose an emended description of B. navarrensis.

Exploring yeast diversity to produce lipid-based biofuels from agro-forestry and industrial organic residues

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Journal: Journal of Fungi 2022, 8(7), 687
Authors: Mota, M.N.; Múgica, P.; Sá-Correia, I.
Exploration of yeast diversity for the sustainable production of biofuels, in particular biodiesel, is gaining momentum in recent years. However, sustainable, and economically viable bioprocesses require yeast strains exhibiting: (i) high tolerance to multiple bioprocess-related stresses, including the various chemical inhibitors present in hydrolysates from lignocellulosic biomass and residues; (ii) the ability to efficiently consume all the major carbon sources present; (iii) the capacity to produce lipids with adequate composition in high yields. More than 160 non-conventional (non-Saccharomyces) yeast species are described as oleaginous, but only a smaller group are relatively well characterised, including Lipomyces starkeyi, Yarrowia lipolytica, Rhodotorula toruloides, Rhodotorula glutinis, Cutaneotrichosporon oleaginosus and Cutaneotrichosporon cutaneum. This article provides an overview of lipid production by oleaginous yeasts focusing on yeast diversity, metabolism, and other microbiological issues related to the toxicity and tolerance to multiple challenging stresses limiting bioprocess performance. This is essential knowledge to better understand and guide the rational improvement of yeast performance either by genetic manipulation or by exploring yeast physiology and optimal process conditions. Examples gathered from the literature showing the potential of different oleaginous yeasts/process conditions to produce oils for biodiesel from agro-forestry and industrial organic residues are provided.

The NPR/Hal family of protein kinases in yeasts: biological role, phylogeny and regulation under environmental challenges

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Journal: Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal 2022, 20, 5698-5712
Authors: Antunes, M.; Sá-Correia, I.
Protein phosphorylation is the most common and versatile post-translational modification occurring in eukaryotes. In yeast, protein phosphorylation is fundamental for maintaining cell growth and adapting to sudden changes in environmental conditions by regulating cellular processes and activating signal transduction pathways. Protein kinases catalyze the reversible addition of phosphate groups to target proteins, thereby regulating their activity. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, kinases are classified into six major groups based on structural and functional similarities. The NPR/Hal family of kinases comprises nine fungal-specific kinases that, due to lack of similarity with the remaining kinases, were classified to the “Other” group. These kinases are primarily implicated in regulating fundamental cellular processes such as maintaining ion homeostasis and controlling nutrient transporters’ concentration at the plasma membrane. Despite their biological relevance, these kinases remain poorly characterized and explored. This review provides an overview of the information available regarding each of the kinases from the NPR/Hal family, including their known biological functions, mechanisms of regulation, and integration in signaling pathways in S. cerevisiae. Information gathered for non-Saccharomyces species of biotechnological or clinical relevance is also included.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae cis-acting DNA sequences curation pipeline (Sc-cADSs-CP): Master transcription factors prediction in yeasts

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Journal: Biochemical Engineering Journal 2022, 188, 108673
Authors: Yaman, O.U.; Avcı, B.; Çalık, P.
Designing promoter architectures hinges on genomic and functional annotation. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the first model yeast whose databases host genomic and functional annotation information. To predict transcription factors (TFs) regulating central pathways in yeasts, we first introduce S. cerevisiae cis-acting DNA sequences/sites (cADSs) curation pipeline (Sc-cADSs-CP). The promoters of the genes involved in the central pathways of S. cerevisiae were retrieved from the genome sequences. We processed the binding frequency matrices of TFs with the following two criteria. First, we extracted cADSs based on the TF motifs in the TRANSFAC database; then, if there were more than one frequency matrix for a TF, the longest one with the maximum sensitivity was used. Next, we developed the direct scanning algorithm ScanAlgo (uses the Biopython-library), scanning DNA motifs for pairing cross-species alignments. We used the tools Sc-cADSs-CP and ScanAlgo to predict master TFs for Pichia pastoris, which lacks extensive functional annotation studies. The phylogenetic footprinting results were obtained by aligning the scanned S. cerevisiae promoters against orthologous P. pastoris promoters. The predicted cADSs were summed into position weight matrices unique to P. pastoris. We annotated 116 TFs based on the phylogenetic footprinting predictions of cADSs regulating the central pathways in P. pastoris. The presented methodology with the tools Sc-cADSs-CP and ScanAlgo enables the prediction of master TFs and cADSs in yeasts.

Evaluation of lignocellulosic wastewater valorization with the oleaginous yeasts R. kratochvilovae EXF7516 and C. oleaginosum ATCC 20509

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Journal: Fermentation 2022, 8(5), 204
Authors: Broos, W.; Wittner, N.; Geerts, J.; Dries, J.; Vlaeminck, S.E.; Gunde-Cimerman, N.; Richel, A.; Cornet, I.
During the conversion of lignocellulose, phenolic wastewaters are generated. Therefore, researchers have investigated wastewater valorization processes in which these pollutants are converted to chemicals, i.e., lipids. However, wastewaters are lean feedstocks, so these valorization processes in research typically require the addition of large quantities of sugars and sterilization, which increase costs. This paper investigates a repeated batch fermentation strategy with Rhodotorula kratochvilovae EXF7516 and Cutaneotrichosporon oleaginosum ATCC 20509, without these requirements. The pollutant removal and its conversion to microbial oil were evaluated. Because of the presence of non-monomeric substrates, the ligninolytic enzyme activity was also investigated. The repeated batch fermentation strategy was successful, as more lipids accumulated every cycle, up to a total of 5.4 g/L (23% cell dry weight). In addition, the yeasts consumed up to 87% of monomeric substrates, i.e., sugars, aromatics, and organics acids, and up to 23% of non-monomeric substrates, i.e., partially degraded xylan, lignin, cellulose. Interestingly, lipid production was only observed during the harvest phase of each cycle, as the cells experienced stress, possibly due to oxygen limitation. This work presents the first results on the feasibility of valorizing non-sterilized lignocellulosic wastewater with R. kratochvilovae and C. oleaginosum using a cost-effective repeated batch strategy.

Optimization of cis-9-Heptadecenoic Acid Production from the Oleaginous Yeast Yarrowia lipolytica

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Journal: Fermentation 2022, 8(6), 245
Authors: Al Sahyouni, W.; El Kantar, S.; Khelfa, A.; Park, Y.-K.; Nicaud, J.-M.; Louka, N.; Koubaa, M.
Odd-chain fatty acids (OCFA) have been studied for their therapeutic and nutritional properties, as well as for their potential use in the chemical industry for the production of biofuel. Genetic modification strategies have demonstrated an improved production of OCFA by oleaginous microorganisms. In this study, the production of OCFA-enriched lipids by fermentation using a genetically engineered Yarrowia lipolytica strain was investigated. The major fatty acid produced by this strain was the cis-9-heptadecenoic acid (C17:1). Its biosynthesis was optimized using a design of experiment strategy involving a central composite design. The optimal responses maximizing the cell density (optical density at 600 nm) and the C17:1 content (%) in lipids were found using 52.4 g/L sucrose, 26.9 g/L glycerol, 10.4 g/L sodium acetate, 5 g/L sodium propionate, and 4 g/L yeast extract. Under these conditions, in a 5 L scale bioreactor, the respective contents of lipids and C17:1 in culture medium were 2.52 ± 0.05 and 0.82 ± 0.01 g/L after 96 h fermentation. The results obtained in this work pave the way toward the process upscale of C17:1 and encourage its industrial production.

Valorization of Low-Cost Substrates for the Production of Odd Chain Fatty Acids by the Oleaginous Yeast Yarrowia lipolytica

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Journal: Fermentation 2022, 8(6), 284
Authors: El Kantar, S.; Koubaa, M.
Odd-chain fatty acids (OCFAs) have recently gained interest as target compounds in microbial production due to their diverse applications in the medical, pharmaceutical and chemical industries for the production of biofuels. Yarrowia lipolytica is a promising oleaginous yeast that has the ability to accumulate high quantities of fatty acids. However, the use of Y. lipolytica oils is still under research, in order to decrease the production costs related to the fermentation process and improve economic feasibility. In this work, sugar beet molasses (10–50 g/L) and crude glycerol (30 g/L) were used as the main carbon sources to reduce the processing costs of oil production from a genetically engineered Y. lipolytica strain. The effects of medium composition were studied on biomass production, lipid content, and OCFAs profile. Lipid production by yeast growing on molasses (20 g/L sucrose) and crude glycerol reached 4.63 ± 0.95 g/L of culture medium. OCFAs content represented 58% of the total fatty acids in lipids, which corresponds to ≈2.69 ± 0.03 g/L of culture medium. The fermentation was upscaled to 5 L bioreactors and fed-batch co-feeding increased OCFA accumulation in Y. lipolytica by 56% compared to batch cultures. glycerol, 10.4 g/L sodium acetate, 5 g/L sodium propionate, and 4 g/L yeast extract. Under these conditions, in a 5 L scale bioreactor, the respective contents of lipids and C17:1 in culture medium were 2.52 ± 0.05 and 0.82 ± 0.01 g/L after 96 h fermentation. The results obtained in this work pave the way toward the process upscale of C17:1 and encourage its industrial production.

Cellulose- and xylan-degrading yeasts: Enzymes, applications and biotechnological potential

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Journal: Biotechnology Advances 2022, 59, 107981
Authors: Šuchová, K.; Fehér, C.; Ravn, J.L.; Bedő, S.; Biely, P.; Geijer, C.
Microbes and their carbohydrate-active enzymes are central for depolymerization of complex lignocellulosic polysaccharides in the global carbon cycle. Their unique abilities to degrade and ferment carbohydrates are also utilized in many industrial processes such as baking, brewing and production of biofuels and drugs. Effective degradation and utilization of cellulose and hemicelluloses is important for the shift towards green bioeconomy, and requires microbes equipped with proper sets of carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes). Knowledge of cellulolytic and xylanolytic CAZymes has mainly been generated from bacteria and filamentous fungi, while yeasts have been largely overlooked and may represent an untapped resource in natural CAZymes with industrial relevance. Cellulose and xylan-degrading yeasts with the ability to ferment saccharides are also promising candidates for consolidated bioprocesses (CBPs), as they can degrade lignocellulose and utilize its constituents to produce desired products at the same time. Cellulolytic yeasts able to utilize insoluble crystalline cellulose are rare while xylanolytic yeasts are rather widespread in nature. The lack of particular enzymes in yeasts can be remediated by introducing the missing enzymes into strains having outstanding product-forming attributes.

In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of the cellulose- and xylan-degrading ascomycetous and basidiomycetous yeasts known to date. We describe how these yeasts can be identified through bioprospecting and bioinformatic approaches and summarize available growth and enzymatic assays for strain characterization. Known and predicted CAZymes are extensively analyzed, both in individual species and in a phylogenetic perspective. We also describe the strategies used for construction of recombinant cellulolytic and xylanolytic strains as well as current applications for polysaccharide-degrading yeasts. Finally, we discuss the great potential of these yeasts as industrial cell factories, identify open research questions and provide suggestions for future investigations.

From glaciers to refrigerators: The population genomics and biocontrol potential of the black yeast Aureobasidium subglaciale

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Journal: Microbiology Spectrum 2022, 10(4), e01455-22
Authors: Zajc, J.; Černoša, A.; Sun, X.; Fang, C.; Gunde-Cimerman, N.; Song, Z.; Gostinčar, C.
Apples are affected by numerous fungi known as storage rots, which cause significant losses before and after harvest. Concerns about increasing antimicrobial resistance, bans on various fungicides, and changing consumer preferences are motivating the search for safer means to prevent fruit rot. The use of antagonistic microbes has been shown to be an efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional phytopharmaceuticals. Here, we investigate the potential of Aureobasidium subglaciale for postharvest rot control. We tested the antagonistic activity of 9 strains of A. subglaciale and 7 closely related strains against relevant phytopathogenic fungi under conditions simulating low-temperature storage: Botrytis cinerea, Penicillium expansum, and Colletotrichum acutatum. We also investigated a selection of phenotypic traits of all strains and sequenced their whole genomes. The tested strains significantly reduced postharvest rot of apples at low temperatures caused by B. cinerea, C. acutatum (over 60%), and P. expansum (about 40%). Several phenotypic traits were observed that may contribute to this biocontrol capacity: growth at low temperatures, tolerance to high temperatures and elevated solute concentrations, and strong production of several extracellular enzymes and siderophores. Population genomics revealed that 7 of the 15 strains originally identified as A. subglaciale most likely belong to other, possibly undescribed species of the same genus. In addition, the population structure and linkage disequilibrium of the species suggest that A. subglaciale is strictly clonal and therefore particularly well suited for use in biocontrol. Overall, these data suggest substantial biological control potential for A. subglaciale, which represents another promising biological agent for disease control in fresh fruit.

Clonality, inbreeding, and hybridization in two extremotolerant black yeasts

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Journal: GigaScience 2022, 11, giac095
Authors: Gostinčar, C.; Sun, X.; Černoša, A.; Fang, C.; Gunde-Cimerman, N.; Song, Z.
The great diversity of lifestyles and survival strategies observed in fungi is reflected in the many ways in which they reproduce and recombine. Although a complete absence of recombination is rare, it has been reported for some species, among them 2 extremotolerant black yeasts from Dothideomycetes: Hortaea werneckii and Aureobasidium melanogenum. Therefore, the presence of diploid strains in these species cannot be explained as the product of conventional sexual reproduction.

Genome sequencing revealed that the ratio of diploid to haploid strains in both H. werneckii and A. melanogenum is about 2:1. Linkage disequilibrium between pairs of polymorphic loci and a high degree of concordance between the phylogenies of different genomic regions confirmed that both species are clonal. Heterozygosity of diploid strains is high, with several hybridizing genome pairs reaching the intergenomic distances typically seen between different fungal species. The origin of diploid strains collected worldwide can be traced to a handful of hybridization events that produced diploids, which were stable over long periods of time and distributed over large geographic areas.

Our results, based on the genomes of over 100 strains of 2 black yeasts, show that although they are clonal, they occasionally form stable and highly heterozygous diploid intraspecific hybrids. The mechanism of these apparently rare hybridization events, which are not followed by meiosis or haploidization, remains unknown. Both extremotolerant yeasts, H. werneckii and even more so A. melanogenum, a close relative of the intensely recombining and biotechnologically relevant Aureobasidium pullulans, provide an attractive model for studying the role of clonality and ploidy in extremotolerant fungi.

Waste cooking oil and crude glycerol as efficient renewable biomass for the production of platform organic chemicals through oleophilic yeast strain of Yarrowia lipolytica

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Journal: Environmental Technology and Innovation 2022, 102943
Authors: Mitrea, L.; Călinoiu, L.-F.; Teleky, B-E.; Szabo, K.; Martău, A.-G.; Ştefănescu, B.-E.; Dulf, F.-V.; Vodnar, D.-C.
[10.35 1=”0.29″ 2=”(log10)” 3=”CFU/mL,” 4=”8.15″ 5=”g/L” 6=”cell” 7=”dry” 8=”weight,” 9=”3.50″ 10=”±” 11=”0.04″ 12=”g/L” 13=”citric” 14=”acid,” 15=”and” 16=”21″ 17=”±” 18=”0.16″ 19=”g/L” 20=”succinic” 21=”acid” _i=”0″ _address=”″ /]

Enhanced fungal delignification and enzymatic digestibility of poplar wood by combined CuSO₄ and MnSO₄ supplementation

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Journal: Process biochemistry (1991) - ISSN 1359-5113 - 108(2021), p. 129-137
Authors: Wittner N., Broos W., Bauwelinck J., Slezsák J.s, Vlaeminck S., Cornet I.

Biological pretreatment of lignocellulose by white-rot fungi is an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical and physical approaches to enhance enzymatic saccharification. However, inefficient lignin degradation and substantial cellulose consumption during fungal pretreatment can cause low sugar yields. In this study, the combined action of CuSO4 and MnSO4 effectively improved the degree and selectivity of delignification during solid-state fungal pretreatment of poplar wood by Phanerochaete chrysosporium. Compared to pretreatment without this supplementation, a 1.9 fold higher lignin degradation and 2.4 times higher delignification selectivity value were obtained due to the increased and prolonged manganese peroxidase activity. Enzymatic saccharification of supplemented pretreated wood resulted in a 2.9 times higher glucose yield compared to the non-supplemented system. This study has demonstrated that the combined application of Mn2+ and Cu2+ can significantly improve the fungal pretreatment process and that the beneficial effect of Cu2+ on delignification is not restricted to laccase-producing fungi.

Yeast adaptive response to acetic acid stress involves structural alterations and increased stiffness of the cell wall

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Journal: Scientific Reports 2021, 11(1), 12652
Authors: Ribeiro, R.A.; Vitorino, M.V.; Godinho, C.P.; Bourbon-Melo, N.; Robalo, T.T.; Fernandes, F.; Rodrigues, M.S.; Sá-Correia, I.
This work describes a coordinate and comprehensive view on the time course of the alterations occurring at the level of the cell wall during adaptation of a yeast cell population to sudden exposure to a sub-lethal stress induced by acetic acid. Acetic acid is a major inhibitory compound in industrial bioprocesses and a widely used preservative in foods and beverages. Results indicate that yeast cell wall resistance to lyticase activity increases during acetic acid-induced growth latency, corresponding to yeast population adaptation to sudden exposure to this stress. This response correlates with: (i) increased cell stiffness, assessed by atomic force microscopy (AFM); (ii) increased content of cell wall β-glucans, assessed by fluorescence microscopy, and (iii) slight increase of the transcription level of the GAS1 gene encoding a β-1,3-glucanosyltransferase that leads to elongation of (1→3)-β-d-glucan chains. Collectively, results reinforce the notion that the adaptive yeast response to acetic acid stress involves a coordinate alteration of the cell wall at the biophysical and molecular levels. These alterations guarantee a robust adaptive response essential to limit the futile cycle associated to the re-entry of the toxic acid form after the active expulsion of acetate from the cell interior

A CRISPR/Cas9 method facilitates efficient oligo-mediated gene editing in Debaryomyces hansenii

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Journal: Synthetic Biology 2021, 6(1), ysab031
Authors: Strucko, T.; Andersen, N.L.; Mahler, M.R.; Martínez, J.L.; Mortensen, U.H.
Halophilic and osmotolerant yeast Debaryomyces hansenii has a high potential for cell factory applications due to its resistance to harsh environmental factors and compatibility with a wide substrate range. However, currently available genetic techniques do not allow the full potential of D. hansenii as a cell factory to be harnessed. Moreover, most of the currently available tools rely on the use of auxotrophic markers that are not suitable in wild-type prototrophic strains. In addition, the preferred non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) DNA damage repair mechanism poses further challenges when precise gene targeting is required. In this study, we present a novel plasmid-based CRISPRCUG/Cas9 method for easy and efficient gene editing of the prototrophic strains of D. hansenii. Our toolset design is based on a dominant marker and facilitates quick assembly of the vectors expressing Cas9 and single or multiple single-guide RNAs (sgRNAs) that provide the possibility for multiplex gene engineering even in prototrophic strains. Moreover, we have constructed NHEJ-deficient D. hansenii that enable our CRISPRCUG/Cas9 tools to support the highly efficient introduction of point mutations and single/double gene deletions. Importantly, we also demonstrate that 90-nt single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides are sufficient for direct repair of DNA breaks induced by sgRNA-Cas9, resulting in precise edits reaching 100% efficiencies. In conclusion, tools developed in this study will greatly advance basic and applied research in D. hansenii. In addition, we envision that our tools can be rapidly adapted for gene editing of other non-conventional yeast species including the ones belonging to the CUG clade.

DebaryOmics: an integrative –omics study to understand the halophilic behaviour of Debaryomyces hansenii

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Journal: Microbial Biotechnology (2021) 0(0), 1– 19
Authors: Navarrete, C.; Sánchez, B.J.; Savickas, S.; Martínez, J.L.

Debaryomyces hansenii is a non-conventional yeast considered to be a well-suited option for a number of different industrial bioprocesses. It exhibits a set of beneficial traits (halotolerant, oleaginous, xerotolerant, inhibitory compounds resistant) which translates to a number of advantages for industrial fermentation setups when compared to traditional hosts. Although D. hansenii has been highly studied during the last three decades, especially in regards to its salt-tolerant character, the molecular mechanisms underlying this natural tolerance should be further investigated in order to broadly use this yeast in biotechnological processes. In this work, we performed a series of chemostat cultivations in controlled bioreactors where D. hansenii (CBS 767) was grown in the presence of either 1M NaCl or KCl and studied the transcriptomic and (phospho)proteomic profiles. Our results show that sodium and potassium trigger different responses at both expression and regulation of protein activity levels and also complemented previous reports pointing to specific cellular processes as key players in halotolerance, moreover providing novel information about the specific genes involved in each process. The phosphoproteomic analysis, the first of this kind ever reported in D. hansenii, also implicated a novel and yet uncharacterized cation transporter in the response to high sodium concentrations.

The N.C.Yeastract and CommunityYeastract databases to study gene and genomic transcription regulation in non-conventional yeasts

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Journal: FEMS Yeast Research 21(6), foab045
Authors: Godinho, C.P.; Palma, M.; Oliveira, J.; Mota, M.N.; Antunes, M.; Teixeira, M.C.; Monteiro, P.T.; Sá-Correia, I.

Responding to the recent interest of the yeast research community in non-Saccharomyces cerevisiae species of biotechnological relevance, the N.C.Yeastract ( was associated to YEASTRACT + ( The YEASTRACT + portal is a curated repository of known regulatory associations between transcription factors (TFs) and target genes in yeasts. N.C.Yeastract gathers all published regulatory associations and TF-binding sites for Komagataellaphaffii (formerly Pichia pastoris), the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica, the lactose fermenting species Kluyveromyces lactis and Kluyveromyces marxianus, and the remarkably weak acid-tolerant food spoilage yeast Zygosaccharomyces bailii. The objective of this review paper is to advertise the update of the existing information since the release of N.C.Yeastract in 2019, and to raise awareness in the community about its potential to help the day-to-day work on these species, exploring all the information available in the global YEASTRACT + portal. Using simple and widely used examples, a guided exploitation is offered for several tools: (i) inference of orthologous genes; (ii) search for putative TF binding sites and (iii) inter-species comparison of transcription regulatory networks and prediction of TF-regulated networks based on documented regulatory associations available in YEASTRACT + for well-studied species. The usage potentialities of the new CommunityYeastract platform by the yeast community are also discussed.

Conversion of lignocellulose and crude glycerol to lipids by oleaginous yeasts

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Journal: Physiology and diversity. Doctoral Thesis No. 2021: 53
Authors: Chmielarz, M.

Oleaginous yeasts are organisms capable of accumulating lipids. Some of them can grow on various substrates considered to be too toxic for many other microorganisms. Crude glycerol (CG) and hemicellulose hydrolysate (HH) are two examples of such substrates.
Lipid quantification by extraction is a time-consuming process which requires usage of organic solvents and strong acids when applied on yeasts. To address this, we developed a new method using Fourier-transform near infra-red (FT-NIR) spectroscopy to quantify lipids within yeast cells. The resulting model for Rhodotorula toruloides had a R2 of 98% and a 5% error in prediction when compared with the traditional lipid extraction method. The method was used to follow lipid formation kinetics in subsequent experiments.
Out of 27 tested oleaginous yeast strains, less than half could grow on crude glycerol. Two strains, R. toruloides CBS14 and Rhodotorula glutinis CBS3044 grew well on this substrate, and were even activated when it was supplemented with hemicellulose hydrolysate (producing up to 12.5 g/L lipids). RNA sequencing in R. toruloides CBS14 revealed increased transcription of genes related to energy metabolism, mitochondrial enzymes and genes involved in protein synthesis. There were only little differences in genes related to glycerol metabolic pathways. Probably, cells grown in CGHH have a more efficient energy metabolism and thus, more ATP to build up biomass and lipids, and to take up substrate from the medium.
The new method for lipid quantification and the identified regulated genes can be the basis for further manipulations of yeast metabolism to reach sustainable microbial oil production from residual substrates.

Lipid production from lignocellulosic material by oleaginous yeasts

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Journal: Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Uppsala, Sweden. Doctoral Thesis No. 2021: 30
Authors: Brandenburg, J.

Oleaginous yeasts are a potential lipid source for production of fuels, chemicals and food or feed and use of lignocellulosic biomass as feedstock is considered a sustainable approach. Pre-treatment of lignocellulose is required to release the major carbon sources, glucose, xylose and other sugars for lipid production by oleaginous yeasts, but also releases inhibitory compounds. Aim of this thesis was to examine the potential for producing lipids from different lignocellulosic substrates using oleaginous yeasts and to develop analytical methods for monitoring the kinetics of lipid accumulation, as a basis for further investigations of physiological differences in oleaginous yeasts on different substrates. Investigations of 29 different oleaginous yeast strains revealed considerable differences in xylose utilisation capacity, even among very closely related strains. Some strains were very efficient in accumulating lipids from all carbon sources in lignocellulose hydrolysate, others showed no or only weak growth on xylose and in one case intracellular lipid degradation during consumption of xylose was observed. Further investigation demonstrated that it is possible to combine furfural production from hemicellulose and microbial lipid or ethanol production from the cellulose fraction of wheat straw material. An investigation of lipid production from birch wood hemicellulose containing high amounts of xylose and acetic acid revealed that by establishing a pH-regulated feeding strategy, acetic acid could be utilised as an additional carbon source and no growth inhibition was observed. Target parameters when studying lipid-accumulating yeasts are intracellular lipid content and lipid profile. However, classical extraction-based analytical methods are time- and workintensive. Therefore, a non-invasive method based on high-throughput Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was established. Overall, large diversity among oleaginous yeasts was revealed, especially when converting xylose. Promising strains for lipid production from different substrates were identified, providing a baseline for further studies on the physiology of oleaginous yeasts and on biotechnological production of microbial lipids.

The potential of Kluyveromyces marxianus to produce low-FODMAP straight-dough and sourdough bread: a pilot study

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Journal: Food Bioprocess Technol
Authors: Laurent, J.; Struyf, N.; Bautil, A.; Bakeeva, A.; Chmielarz, M.; Lylyy, M.; Herrera-Malaver, B.; Passoth, V.; Verstrepen, K.J.; Courtin, C.M.

Diets low in fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) can help reduce symptoms in 50 to 80% of patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. Patients are, therefore, often advised to avoid products contributing to FODMAP intake, such as cereal grain products. However, these products are nutritious staple foods and avoiding their consumption may result in nutritional deficiencies. The development of low-FODMAP, high-fiber cereal grain products is therefore desirable. This pilot-scale study shows that Kluyveromyces marxianus CBS6014 (K. marxianus) results in more fructan hydrolysis and a significantly lower final fructan level in white and whole-grain toast bread as well as in rye sourdough bread compared to a commercial Saccharomyces cerevisiae baking strain. Moreover, combined fructan and fructose levels in white and whole-grain bread prepared with K. marxianus remained well below the threshold concentration for low-FODMAP products. In addition to reducing fructan levels, K. marxianus in rye sourdough bread also positively impacted bread height. Whereas further follow-up studies are needed to assess the potential of K. marxianus for bread production fully, our study suggests that this yeast species may open exciting novel routes for the production of low-FODMAP, high-fiber products.

Microbial lipid production from crude glycerol and hemicellulosic hydrolysate with oleaginous yeasts

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Journal: Biotechnol Biofuels 12, 65
Authors: Chmielarz, M.; Blomqvist, J.; Sampels, S.; Sandgren, M.; Passoth, V.

Crude glycerol (CG) and hemicellulose hydrolysate (HH) are low—value side-products of biodiesel transesterification and pulp—and paper industry or lignocellulosic ethanol production, respectively, which can be converted to microbial lipids by oleaginous yeasts. This study aimed to test the ability of oleaginous yeasts to utilise CG and HH and mixtures of them as carbon source.

Eleven out of 27 tested strains of oleaginous yeast species were able to grow in plate tests on CG as sole carbon source. Among them, only one ascomycetous strain, belonging to Lipomyces starkeyi, was identified, the other 10 strains were Rhodotorula spec. When yeasts were cultivated in mixed CG/ HH medium, we observed an activation of glycerol conversion in the Rhodotorula strains, but not in L. starkeyi. Two strains—Rhodotorula toruloides CBS 14 and Rhodotorula glutinis CBS 3044 were further tested in controlled fermentations in bioreactors in different mixtures of CG and HH. The highest measured average biomass and lipid concentration were achieved with R. toruloides in 10% HH medium mixed with 55 g/L CG—19.4 g/L and 10.6 g/L, respectively, with a lipid yield of 0.25 g lipids per consumed g of carbon source. Fatty acid composition was similar to other R. toruloides strains and comparable to that of vegetable oils.

There were big strain differences in the ability to convert CG to lipids, as only few of the tested strains were able to grow. Lipid production rates and yields showed that mixing GC and HH have a stimulating effect on lipid accumulation in R. toruloides and R. glutinis resulting in shortened fermentation time to reach maximum lipid concentration, which provides a new perspective on converting these low-value compounds to microbial lipids

Oleaginous yeasts respond differently to carbon sources present in lignocellulose hydrolysate

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Journal: Biotechnol Biofuels 14, 124
Authors: Brandenburg, J.; Blomqvist, J.; Shapaval, V.; Kohler, A.; Sampels, S.; Sandgren, M.; Passoth, V.

Microbial oils, generated from lignocellulosic material, have great potential as renewable and sustainable alternatives to fossil-based fuels and chemicals. By unravelling the diversity of lipid accumulation physiology in different oleaginous yeasts grown on the various carbon sources present in lignocellulose hydrolysate (LH), new targets for optimisation of lipid accumulation can be identified. Monitoring lipid formation over time is essential for understanding lipid accumulation physiology. This study investigated lipid accumulation in a variety of oleaginous ascomycetous and basidiomycetous strains grown in glucose and xylose and followed lipid formation kinetics of selected strains in wheat straw hydrolysate (WSH).

Twenty-nine oleaginous yeast strains were tested for their ability to utilise glucose and xylose, the main sugars present in WSH. Evaluation of sugar consumption and lipid accumulation revealed marked differences in xylose utilisation capacity between the yeast strains, even between those belonging to the same species. Five different promising strains, belonging to the species Lipomyces starkeyi, Rhodotorula glutinis, Rhodotorula babjevae and Rhodotorula toruloides, were grown on undiluted wheat straw hydrolysate and lipid accumulation was followed over time, using Fourier transform-infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. All five strains were able to grow on undiluted WSH and to accumulate lipids, but to different extents and with different productivities. R. babjevae DVBPG 8058 was the best-performing strain, accumulating 64.8% of cell dry weight (CDW) as lipids. It reached a culture density of 28 g/L CDW in batch cultivation, resulting in a lipid content of 18.1 g/L and yield of 0.24 g lipids per g carbon source. This strain formed lipids from the major carbon sources in hydrolysate, glucose, acetate and xylose. R. glutinis CBS 2367 also consumed these carbon sources, but when assimilating xylose it consumed intracellular lipids simultaneously. Rhodotorula strains contained a higher proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids than the two tested Lipomyces starkeyi strains.

There is considerable metabolic diversity among oleaginous yeasts, even between closely related species and strains, especially when converting xylose to biomass and lipids. Monitoring the kinetics of lipid accumulation and identifying the molecular basis of this diversity are keys to selecting suitable strains for high lipid production from lignocellulose

Yeasts of the Blastobotrys genus are promising platforms for lipid- based fuels and oleochemicals production

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Journal: Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2021 105, 4879-4897
Authors: Sanya, D.R.A.; Onésime, D.; Passoth, V.; Maiti, M.K.; Chattopadhyay, A.; Khot, M.B.

Strains of the yeast genus Blastobotrys (subphylum Saccharomycotina) represent a valuable biotechnological resource for basic biochemistry research, single-cell protein, and heterologous protein production processes. Species of this genus are dimorphic, non-pathogenic, thermotolerant, and can assimilate a variety of hydrophilic and hydrophobic substrates. These can constitute a single-cell oil platform in an emerging bio-based economy as oleaginous traits have been discovered recently. However, the regulatory network of lipogenesis in these yeasts is poorly understood. To keep pace with the growing market demands for lipid-derived products, it is critical to understand the lipid biosynthesis in these unconventional yeasts to pinpoint what governs the preferential channelling of carbon flux into lipids instead of the competing pathways. This review summarizes information relevant to the regulation of lipid metabolic pathways and prospects of metabolic engineering in Blastobotrys yeasts for their application in food, feed, and beyond, particularly for fatty acid-based fuels and oleochemicals.

Chromosome-level genome assembly and transcriptome-based annotation of the oleaginous yeast Rhodotorula toruloides CBS 14

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Journal: Genomics 113, 4022-4026
Authors: Martín-Hernandez, G.C.; Müller, B.; Chmielarz, M.; Brandt, C.; Hölzer, M.; Viehweger, A.; Passoth, V.

Rhodotorula toruloides is an oleaginous yeast with high biotechnological potential. In order to understand the molecular physiology of lipid synthesis in R. toruloides and to advance metabolic engineering, a high-resolution genome is required. We constructed a genome draft of R. toruloides CBS 14, using a hybrid assembly approach, consisting of short and long reads generated by Illumina and Nanopore sequencing, respectively. The genome draft consists of 23 contigs and 3 scaffolds, with a N50 length of 1,529,952 bp, thus largely representing chromosomal organization. The total size of the genome is 20,534,857 bp and the overall GC content is 61.83%. Transcriptomic data from different growth conditions was used to aid species-specific gene annotation. We annotated 9464 genes and identified 11,691 transcripts. Furthermore, we demonstrated the presence of a potential plasmid, an extrachromosomal circular structure of about 11 kb with a copy number about three times as high as the other chromosomes.

From a genome assembly to full regulatory network prediction: the case study of Rhodotorula toruloides putative Haa1-regulon

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Journal: BMC Bioinformatics 2021, 22, 399
Authors: Oliveira, J., Antunes, M., Godinho, C.P., Teixeira, M.C., Sá-Correia, I., Monteiro, P.T.

Numerous genomes are sequenced and made available to the community through the NCBI portal. However, and, unlike what happens for gene function annotation, annotation of promoter sequences and the underlying prediction of regulatory associations is mostly unavailable, severely limiting the ability to interpret genome sequences in a functional genomics perspective. Here we present an approach where one can download a genome of interest from NCBI in the GenBank Flat File (.gbff) format and, with a minimum set of commands, have all the information parsed, organized and made available through the platform web interface. Also, the new genomes are compared with a given genome of reference in search of homologous genes, shared regulatory elements and predicted transcription associations. We present this approach within the context of Community YEASTRACT of the YEASTRACT + portal, thus benefiting from immediate access to all the comparative genomics queries offered in the YEASTRACT + portal. Besides the yeast community, other communities can install the platform independently, without any constraints. In this work, we exemplify the usefulness of the presented tool, within Community YEASTRACT, in constructing a dedicated database and analysing the genome of the highly promising oleaginous red yeast species Rhodotorula toruloides currently poorly studied at the genome and transcriptome levels and with limited genome editing tools. Regulatory prediction is based on the conservation of promoter sequences and available regulatory networks. The case-study examined is focused on the Haa1 transcription factor—a key regulator of yeast resistance to acetic acid, an important inhibitor of industrial bioconversion of lignocellulosic hydrolysates. The new tool described here led to the prediction of a RtHaa1 regulon with expected impact in the optimization of R. toruloides robustness for lignocellulosic and pectin-rich residue biorefinery processes.

Structural Insight into a Yeast Maltase—The BaAG2 from Blastobotrys adeninivorans with Transglycosylating Activity

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Journal: J. Fungi 2021, 7(10), 816
Authors: Ernits, K.; Kjeldsen, C.; Persson, K.; Grigor, E.; Alamäe, T.; Visnapuu, T.

An early-diverged yeast, Blastobotrys (Arxula) adeninivorans (Ba), has biotechnological potential due to nutritional versatility, temperature tolerance, and production of technologically applicable enzymes. We have biochemically characterized from the Ba type strain (CBS 8244) the GH13-family maltase BaAG2 with efficient transglycosylation activity on maltose. In the current study, transglycosylation of sucrose was studied in detail. The chemical entities of sucrose-derived oligosaccharides were determined using nuclear magnetic resonance. Several potentially prebiotic oligosaccharides with α-1,1, α-1,3, α-1,4, and α-1,6 linkages were disclosed among the products. Trisaccharides isomelezitose, erlose, and theanderose, and disaccharides maltulose and trehalulose were dominant transglycosylation products. To date no structure for yeast maltase has been determined. Structures of the BaAG2 with acarbose and glucose in the active center were solved at 2.12 and 2.13 Å resolution, respectively. BaAG2 exhibited a catalytic domain with a (β/α)8-barrel fold and Asp216, Glu274, and Asp348 as the catalytic triad. The fairly wide active site cleft contained water channels mediating substrate hydrolysis. Next to the substrate-binding pocket an enlarged space for potential binding of transglycosylation acceptors was identified. The involvement of a Glu (Glu309) at subsite +2 and an Arg (Arg233) at subsite +3 in substrate binding was shown for the first time for α-glucosidases.

Glycolipid Biosurfactant Production from Waste Cooking Oils by Yeast: Review of Substrates, Producers and Products

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Journal: Fermentation 2021, 7, 136
Authors: Liepins, J.; Balina, K.; Soloha, R.; Berzina, I.; Lukasa, L.K.; Dace, E.

Biosurfactants are a microbially synthesized alternative to synthetic surfactants, one of the most important bulk chemicals. Some yeast species are proven to be exceptional biosurfactant producers, while others are emerging producers. A set of factors affects the type, amount, and properties of the biosurfactant produced, as well as the environmental impact and costs of biosurfactant’s production. Exploring waste cooking oil as a substrate for biosurfactants’ production serves as an effective cost-cutting strategy, yet it has some limitations. This review explores the existing knowledge on utilizing waste cooking oil as a feedstock to produce glycolipid biosurfactants by yeast. The review focuses specifically on the differences created by using raw cooking oil or waste cooking oil as the substrate on the ability of various yeast species to synthesize sophorolipids, rhamnolipids, mannosylerythritol lipids, and other glycolipids and the substrate’s impact on the composition, properties, and limitations in the application of biosurfactants.

The identification of genetic determinants of methanol tolerance in yeast suggests differences in methanol and ethanol toxicity mechanisms and candidates for improved methanol tolerance engineering

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Journal: J. Fungi 2021, 7(2), 90
Authors: Mota, M.N.; Martins, L.C.; Sá-Correia, I.

Methanol is a promising feedstock for metabolically competent yeast strains-based biorefineries. However, methanol toxicity can limit the productivity of these bioprocesses. Therefore, the identification of genes whose expression is required for maximum methanol tolerance is important for mechanistic insights and rational genomic manipulation to obtain more robust methylotrophic yeast strains. The present chemogenomic analysis was performed with this objective based on the screening of the Euroscarf Saccharomyces cerevisiae haploid deletion mutant collection to search for susceptibility phenotypes in YPD medium supplemented with 8% (v/v) methanol, at 35 °C, compared with an equivalent ethanol concentration (5.5% (v/v)). Around 400 methanol tolerance determinants were identified, 81 showing a marked phenotype. The clustering of the identified tolerance genes indicates an enrichment of functional categories in the methanol dataset not enriched in the ethanol dataset, such as chromatin remodeling, DNA repair and fatty acid biosynthesis. Several genes involved in DNA repair (eight RAD genes), identified as specific for methanol toxicity, were previously reported as tolerance determinants for formaldehyde, a methanol detoxification pathway intermediate. This study provides new valuable information on genes and potential regulatory networks involved in overcoming methanol toxicity. This knowledge is an important starting point for the improvement of methanol tolerance in yeasts capable of catabolizing and copying with methanol concentrations present in promising bioeconomy feedstocks, including industrial residues.

Complete utilization of the major carbon sources present in sugar beet pulp hydrolysates by the oleaginous red yeasts Rhodotorula toruloides and R. mucilaginosa

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Journal: J. Fungi 2021, 7(3), 215
Authors: Martins, L.C.; Palma, M.; Angelov, A.; Nevoigt, E.; Liebl, W.; Sá-Correia, I.

Agro-industrial residues are low-cost carbon sources (C-sources) for microbial growth and production of value-added bioproducts. Among the agro-industrial residues available, those rich in pectin are generated in high amounts worldwide from the sugar industry or the industrial processing of fruits and vegetables. Sugar beet pulp (SBP) hydrolysates contain predominantly the neutral sugars d-glucose, l-arabinose and d-galactose, and the acidic sugar d-galacturonic acid. Acetic acid is also present at significant concentrations since the d-galacturonic acid residues are acetylated. In this study, we have examined and optimized the performance of a Rhodotorula mucilaginosa strain, isolated from SBP and identified at the molecular level during this work. This study was extended to another oleaginous red yeast species, R. toruloides, envisaging the full utilization of the C-sources from SBP hydrolysate (at pH 5.0). The dual role of acetic acid as a carbon and energy source and as a growth and metabolism inhibitor was examined. Acetic acid prevented the catabolism of d-galacturonic acid and l-arabinose after the complete use of the other C-sources. However, d-glucose and acetic acid were simultaneously and efficiently metabolized, followed by d-galactose. SBP hydrolysate supplementation with amino acids was crucial to allow d-galacturonic acid and l-arabinose catabolism. SBP valorization through the production of lipids and carotenoids by Rhodotorula strains, supported by complete catabolism of the major C-sources present, looks promising for industrial implementation.

Ethanol production from wheat straw hydrolysate by issatchenkia orientalis isolated from waste cooking oil

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Journal: Journal of Fungi 2021, 7(2), 121
Authors: Zwirzitz A., Alteio L., Sulzenbacher D., Atanasoff M., Selg M.

The interest in using non-conventional yeasts to produce value-added compounds from low cost substrates, such as lignocellulosic materials, has increased in recent years. Setting out to discover novel microbial strains that can be used in biorefineries, an Issatchenkia orientalis strain was isolated from waste cooking oil (WCO) and its capability to produce ethanol from wheat straw hydrolysate (WSHL) was analyzed. As with previously isolated I. orientalis strains, WCO-isolated I. orientalis KJ27-7 is thermotolerant. It grows well at elevated temperatures up to 42◦C. Furthermore, spot drop tests showed that it is tolerant to various chemical fermentation inhibitors that are derived from the pre-treatment of lignocellulosic materials. I. orientalis KJ27-7 is particularly tolerant to acetic acid (up to 75 mM) and tolerates 10 mM formic acid, 5 mM furfural and 10 mM hydroxymethylfurfural. Important for biotechnological cellulosic ethanol production, I. orientalis KJ27-7 grows well on plates containing up to 10% ethanol and media containing up to 90% WSHL. As observed in shake flask fermentations, the specific ethanol productivity correlates with WSHL concentrations. In 90% WSHL media, I. orientalis KJ27-7 produced 10.3 g L−1 ethanol within 24 h. This corresponds to a product yield of 0.50 g g−1 glucose (97% of the theoretical maximum) and a volumetric productivity of 0.43 g L−1 h−1 . Therefore, I. orientalis KJ27-7 is an efficient producer of lignocellulosic ethanol from WSHL. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Engineering Yarrowia lipolytica for the selective and high-level production of isocitric acid through manipulation of mitochondrial dicarboxylate–tricarboxylate carriers

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Journal: Metabolic Engineering 2021, 65, 156-166
Authors: Yuzbasheva, E.Y.; Scarcia, P.; Yuzbashev, T.V.; Messina, E.; Kosikhina, I.M.; Palmieri, L.; Shutov, A.V.; Taratynova, M.O.; Amaro, R.L.; Palmieri, F.; Sineoky, S.P.; Agrimi, G.

During cultivation under nitrogen starvation, Yarrowia lipolytica produces a mixture of citric acid and isocitric acid whose ratio is mainly determined by the carbon source used. We report that mitochondrial succinate–fumarate carrier YlSfc1 controls isocitric acid efflux from mitochondria. YlSfc1 purified and reconstituted into liposomes transports succinate, fumarate, oxaloacetate, isocitrate and α-ketoglutarate. YlSFC1 overexpression determined the inversion of isocitric acid/citric acid ratio towards isocitric acid, resulting in 33.4 ± 1.9 g/L and 43.3 ± 2.8 g/L of ICA production in test-tube cultivation with glucose and glycerol, respectively. These titers represent a 4.0 and 6.3-fold increase compared to the wild type. YlSFC1 gene expression was repressed in the wild type strain grown in glucose-based medium compared to olive oil medium explaining the reason for the preferred citric acid production during Y. lipolytica growth on carbohydrates. Coexpression of YlSFC1 and adenosine monophosphate deaminase YlAMPD genes together with inactivation of citrate mitochondrial carrier YlYHM2 gene enhanced isocitric acid accumulation up to 41.4 ± 4.1 g/L with an isocitric acid/citric acid ratio of 14.3 in a small-scale cultivation with glucose as a carbon source. During large-scale cultivation with glucose pulse-feeding, the engineered strain produced 136.7 ± 2.5 g/L of ICA with a process selectivity of 88.1%, the highest reported titer and selectivity to date. These results represent the first reported isocitric acid secretion by Y. lipolytica as a main organic acid during cultivation on carbohydrate. Moreover, we demonstrate for the first time that the replacement of one mitochondrial transport system for another can be an efficient tool for switching product accumulation. © 2020 International Metabolic Engineering Society

Microbial biosurfactant research: time to improve the rigour in the reporting of synthesis, functional characterization and process development

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Journal: Microbial Biotechnology 2021, 14(1), 147-170
Authors: Twigg M.S., Baccile N., Banat I.M., Déziel E., Marchant R., Roelants S., Van Bogaert I.N.A.

The demand for microbially produced surface-active compounds for use in industrial processes and products is increasing. As such, there has been a comparable increase in the number of publications relating to the characterization of novel surface-active compounds: novel producers of already characterized surface-active compounds and production processes for the generation of these compounds. Leading researchers in the field have identified that many of these studies utilize techniques are not precise and accurate enough, so some published conclusions might not be justified. Such studies lacking robust experimental evidence generated by validated techniques and standard operating procedures are detrimental to the field of microbially produced surface-active compound research. In this publication, we have critically reviewed a wide range of techniques utilized in the characterization of surface-active compounds from microbial sources: identification of surface-active compound producing microorganisms and functional testing of resultant surface-active compounds. We have also reviewed the experimental evidence required for process development to take these compounds out of the laboratory and into industrial application. We devised this review as a guide to both researchers and the peer-reviewed process to improve the stringency of future studies and publications within this field of science. © 2020 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Highly-stable Madurella mycetomatis laccase immobilized in silica-coated ZIF-8 nanocomposites for environmentally friendly cotton bleaching process

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Journal: Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 2021, 202, 111672
Authors: Tülek, A.; Yıldırım, D.; Aydın, D.; Binay B.

In this study, a laccase from Madurella mycetomatis (MmLac) was produced heterologously in Pichia pastoris; the initial immobilization in a metal-organic framework (MOF) (MmLac/ZIF-8) was achieved using zinc nitrate and 2-methylimidazole. Due to the instability of MmLac/ZIF-8 in an acidic medium, a silica layer was created on the surface of MmLac/MOF-8. The immobilized laccase composite (silica@MmLac/ZIF-8) obtained was further treated with glutaraldehyde (silica@Glu-MmLac/ZIF-8) to increase stability of composite. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy techniques were used to confirm the immobilization of MmLac and to investigate the morphology of the immobilized laccase samples. The MmLac samples were also characterised in terms of optimum pH, temperature and thermal stability. The optimum pH of all the MmLac samples was determined to be 4.0. The free MmLac showed maximum activity at 55 °C, whereas both silica@MmLac/ZIF-8 and silica@Glu-MmLac/ZIF-8 were maximumly active at 65 °C. The silica@MmLac/ZIF-8 and silica@Glu-MmLac/ZIF-8 were 9.3- and 11.8-fold higher in stability, respectively, than the free MmLac at 65 °C. Furthermore, both silica@MmLac/ZIF-8 and silica@Glu-MmLac/ZIF-8 showed a higher bleaching performance than free MmLac on cotton woven fabric. According to these results, silica@MmLac/ZIF-8 and silica@Glu-MmLac/ZIF-8 may be promising candidates for biocatalysts in laccase-based biotechnological applications. © 2021 Elsevier B.V.

Optimisation of the Production and Bleaching Process for a New Laccase from Madurella mycetomatis, Expressed in Pichia pastoris: from Secretion to Yielding Prominent

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Journal: Molecular Biotechnology 2021, 63(1), 24-39
Authors: Tülek, A.; Karataş, E.; Çakar, M.M.; Aydın, D.; Yılmazcan, Ö.; Binay, B.

Laccases are polyphenol oxidoreductases used in a number of industrial applications. Due to the increasing demand for these “green catalysis” enzymes, the identification and biochemical characterisation of their novel properties is essential. In our study, cloned Madurella mycetomatis laccase (mmlac) genes were heterologously expressed in the methylotrophic yeast host Pichia pastoris. The high yield of the active recombinant protein in P. pastoris demonstrates the efficiency of a reliably constructed plasmid to express the laccase gene. The optimal biochemical conditions for the successfully expressed MmLac enzyme were identified. Detailed structural properties of the recombinant laccase were determined, and its utility in decolourisation and textile bleaching applications was examined. MmLac demonstrates good activity in an acidic pH range (4.0–6.0); is stable in the presence of cationic metals, organic solvents and under high temperatures (50–60 °C); and is stable for long-term storage at − 20 °C and − 80 °C for up to eight weeks. The structural analysis revealed that the catalytic residues are partially similar to other laccases. MmLac resulted in an increase in whiteness, whilst demonstrating high efficiency and stability and requiring the input of fewer chemicals. The performance of this enzyme makes it worthy of investigation for use in textile biotechnology applications, as well as within environmental and food technologies. © 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Utilization of biomass derived from cyanobacteria-based agro-industrial wastewater treatment and raisin residue extract for bioethanol production

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Journal: Water (Switzerland) 2021, 13(4), 486
Authors: Tsolcha O.N., Patrinou V., Economou C.N., Dourou M., Aggelis G., Tekerlekopoulou A.G.

Biofuels produced from photosynthetic microorganisms such as microalgae and cyanobacteria could potentially replace fossil fuels as they offer several advantages over fuels produced from lignocellulosic biomass. In this study, energy production potential in the form of bioethanol was examined using different biomasses derived from the growth of a cyanobacteria-based microbial consortium on a chemical medium and on agro-industrial wastewaters (i.e., dairy wastewater, winery wastewater and mixed winery–raisin effluent) supplemented with a raisin residue extract. The possibility of recovering fermentable sugars from a microbial biomass dominated by the filamentous cyanobacterium Leptolynbgya sp. was demonstrated. Of the different acid hydrolysis conditions tested, the best results were obtained with sulfuric acid 2.5 N for 120 min using dried biomass from dairy wastewater and mixed winery–raisin wastewaters. After optimizing sugar release from the microbial biomass by applying acid hydrolysis, alcoholic fermentation was performed using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Raisin residue extract was added to the treated biomass broth in all experiments to enhance ethanol production. Results showed that up to 85.9% of the theoretical ethanol yield was achieved, indicating the potential use of cyanobacteria-based biomass in combination with a raisin residue extract as feedstock for bioethanol production. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Microbial lipids from organic wastes: Outlook and challenges

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Journal: Bioresource Technology 2021, 323, 124612
Authors: Tomás-Pejó E., Morales-Palomo S., González-Fernández C.

Microbial lipids have recently drawn a lot of attention as renewable sources for biochemicals production. Strong research efforts have been addressed to efficiently use organic wastes as carbon source for microbial lipids, which would definitively increase the profitability of the production process and boost a bio-based economy. This review compiles interesting traits of oleaginous microorganisms and highlights current trends on microbial- and process-oriented approaches to maximize microbial oil production from inexpensive substrates like lignocellulosic sugars, volatile fatty acids and glycerol. Furthermore, downstream processes such as cell harvesting or lipid extraction, that are decisive for the cost-effectiveness of the process, are discussed. To underpin microbial oils within the so demanded circular economy, associated challenges, recent advances and possible industrial applications that are also identified in this review. © 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous, a Versatile Platform for the Production of Carotenoids and Other Acetyl-CoA-Derived Compounds

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Journal: Misawa N. (eds) Carotenoids: Biosynthetic and Biofunctional Approaches. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 2021, 1261. Springer, Singapore.
Authors: Sandmann G., Pollmann H., Gassel S., Breitenbach J.

Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous (with Phaffia rhodozyma as its anamorphic state) is a basidiomycetous, moderately psychrophilic, red yeast belonging to the Cystofilobasidiales. Its red pigmentation is caused by the accumulation of astaxanthin, which is a unique feature among fungi. The present chapter reviews astaxanthin biosynthesis and acetyl-CoA metabolism in X. dendrorhous and describes the construction of a versatile platform for the production of carotenoids, such as astaxanthin, and other acetyl-CoA-derived compounds including fatty acids by using this fungus.

The potassium transporter Hak1 in Candida albicans, regulation and physiological effects at limiting potassium and under acidic conditions.

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Journal: Misawa N. (eds) Carotenoids: Biosynthetic and Biofunctional Approaches. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 2021, 1261. Springer, Singapore.
Authors: J. Fungi 2021, 7, 362

The three families of yeast plasma membrane potassium influx transporters are represented in Candida albicans: Trk, Acu, and Hak proteins. Hak transporters work as K+-H+ symporters, and the genes coding for Hak proteins are transcriptionally activated under potassium limitation. This work shows that C. albicans mutant cells lacking CaHAK1 display a severe growth impairment at limiting potassium concentrations under acidic conditions. This is the consequence of a defective capacity to transport K+, as indicated by potassium absorption experiments and by the kinetics parameters of Rb+ (K+) transport. Moreover, hak1− cells are more sensitive to the toxic cation lithium. All these phenotypes became much less robust or even disappeared at alkaline growth conditions. Finally, transcriptional studies demonstrate that the hak1− mutant, in comparison with HAK1+ cells, activates the expression of the K+/Na+ ATPase coded by CaACU1 in the presence of Na+ or in the absence of K+.

Regulation and activity of CaTrk1, CaAcu1 and CaHak1, the three plasma membrane potassium transporters in Candida albicans

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Journal: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – Biomembranes 2021, 1863(1), 183486
Authors: Ruiz-Castilla F.J., Bieber J., Caro G., Michán C., Sychrova H., Ramos J.

Wild-type cells of Candida albicans, the most common human fungal pathogen, are able to grow at very low micromolar concentrations of potassium in the external milieu. One of the reasons behind that behaviour is the existence of three different types of K+ transporters in their plasma membrane: Trk1, Acu1 and Hak1. This work shows that the transporters are very differently regulated at the transcriptional level upon exposure to saline stress, pH alterations or K+ starvation. We propose that different transporters take the lead in the diverse environmental conditions, Trk1 being the “house-keeping” one, and Acu1/Hak1 dominating upon K+ limiting conditions. Heterologous expression of the genes coding for the three transporters in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain lacking its endogenous potassium transporters showed that all of them mediated cation transport but with very different efficiencies. Moreover, expression of the transporters in S. cerevisiae also affected other physiological characteristics such as sodium and lithium tolerance, membrane potential or intracellular pH, being, in general, CaTrk1 the most effective in keeping these parameters close to the usual wild-type physiological levels. © 2020 Elsevier B.V.

Optimisation of recombinant myrosinase production in Pichia pastoris

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Journal: International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2021, 22(7), 3677
Authors: Rosenbergová Z., Kántorová K., Šimkovič M., Breier A., Rebroš M.

Myrosinase is a plant defence enzyme catalysing the hydrolysis of glucosinolates, a group of plant secondary metabolites, to a range of volatile compounds. One of the products, isothio-cyanates, proved to have neuroprotective and chemo-preventive properties, making myrosinase a pharmaceutically interesting enzyme. In this work, extracellular expression of TGG1 myrosinase from Arabidopsis thaliana in the Pichia pastoris KM71H (MutS) strain was upscaled to a 3 L laboratory fermenter for the first time. Fermentation conditions (temperature and pH) were optimised, which resulted in a threefold increase in myrosinase productivity compared to unoptimised fermentation conditions. Dry cell weight increased 1.5-fold, reaching 100.5 g/L without additional glycerol feeding. Overall, a specific productivity of 4.1 U/Lmedium/h was achieved, which was 102.5-fold higher compared to flask cultivations. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Screening and growth characterization of non-conventional yeasts in a hemicellulosic hydrolysate

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Journal: Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol. 2021, 9, 659472
Authors: Monteiro de Oliveira, P.; Aborneva, D.; Bonturi, N.; Lahtvee, P.-J.

Lignocellulosic biomass is an attractive raw material for the sustainable production of chemicals and materials using microbial cell factories. Most of the existing bioprocesses focus on second-generation ethanol production using genetically modified Saccharomyces cerevisiae, however, this microorganism is naturally unable to consume xylose. Moreover, extensive metabolic engineering has to be carried out to achieve high production levels of industrially relevant building blocks. Hence, the use of non-Saccharomyces species, or non-conventional yeasts, bearing native metabolic routes, allows conversion of a wide range of substrates into different products, and higher tolerance to inhibitors improves the efficiency of biorefineries. In this study, nine non-conventional yeast strains were selected and screened on a diluted hemicellulosic hydrolysate from Birch. Kluyveromyces marxianus CBS 6556, Scheffersomyces stipitis CBS 5773, Lipomyces starkeyi DSM 70295, and Rhodotorula toruloides CCT 7815 were selected for further characterization, where their growth and substrate consumption patterns were analyzed under industrially relevant substrate concentrations and controlled environmental conditions in bioreactors. K. marxianus CBS 6556 performed poorly under higher hydrolysate concentrations, although this yeast was determined among the fastest-growing yeasts on diluted hydrolysate. S. stipitis CBS 5773 demonstrated a low growth and biomass production while consuming glucose, while during the xylose-phase, the specific growth and sugar co-consumption rates were among the highest of this study (0.17 h–1 and 0.37 g/gdw*h, respectively). L. starkeyi DSM 70295 and R. toruloides CCT 7815 were the fastest to consume the provided sugars at high hydrolysate conditions, finishing them within 54 and 30 h, respectively. R. toruloides CCT 7815 performed the best of all four studied strains and tested conditions, showing the highest specific growth (0.23 h–1), substrate co-consumption (0.73 ± 0.02 g/gdw*h), and xylose consumption (0.22 g/gdw*h) rates. Furthermore, R. toruloides CCT 7815 was able to produce 10.95 ± 1.37 gL–1 and 1.72 ± 0.04 mgL–1 of lipids and carotenoids, respectively, under non-optimized cultivation conditions. The study provides novel information on selecting suitable host strains for biorefinery processes, provides detailed information on substrate consumption patterns, and pinpoints to bottlenecks possible to address using metabolic engineering or adaptive evolution experiments.

From secretion in Pichia pastoris to application in apple juice processing: Exo-polygalacturonase from Sporothrix schenckii 1099-18

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Journal: Protein and Peptide Letters 2021, E-pub Ahead of Print
Authors: Karataş, E.; Tülek, A.; Çakar, M.M; Tamtürk, F.; Aktaş, F.; Binay, B.

Background: Polygalacturonases are a group of enzymes under pectinolytic enzymes related to enzymes that hydrolyse pectic substances. Polygalacturonases have been used in various industrial applications such as fruit juice clarification, retting of plant fibers, wastewater treatment drinks fermentation, and oil extraction.
Objectives: The study was evaluated at the heterologous expression, purification, biochemical characterization, computational modeling, and performance in apple juice clarification of a new exo-polygalacturonase from Sporothrix schenckii 1099-18 (SsExo-PG) in Pichia pastoris.
Methods: Recombinant DNA technology was used in this study. Two different pPIC9K plasmids were constructed with native signal sequence-ssexo-pg and alpha signal sequence-ssexo-pg separately. Protein expression and purification performed after plasmids transformed into the Pichia pastoris. Biochemical and structural analyses were performed by using pure SsExo-PG.

Results: The purification of SsExo-PG was achieved using a Ni-NTA chromatography system. The enzyme was found to have a molecular mass of approximately 52 kDa. SsExo-PG presented as stable at a wide range of temperature and pH values, and to be more storage stable than other commercial pectinolytic enzyme mixtures. Structural analysis revealed that the catalytic residues of SsExo-PG are somewhat similar to other Exo-PGs. The KM and kcat values for the degradation of polygalacturonic acid (PGA) by the purified enzyme were found to be 0.5868 µM and 179 s-1, respectively. Cu2+ was found to enhance SsExo-PG activity while Ag2+ and Fe2+ almost completely inhibited enzyme activity. The enzyme reduced turbidity up to 80% thus enhanced the clarification of apple juice. SsExo-PG showed promising performance when compared with other commercial pectinolytic enzyme mixtures.
Conclusion: The clarification potential of SsExo-PG was revealed by comparing it with commercial pectinolytic enzymes. The following parameters of the process of apple juice clarification processes showed that SsExo-PG is highly stable and has a novel performance.

Single Cell Oil (SCO)–Based Bioactive Compounds: I—Enzymatic Synthesis of Fatty Acid Amides Using SCOs as Acyl Group Donors and Their Biological Activities

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Journal: Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 2021, 193(3), 822-845
Authors: El-Baz H.A., Elazzazy A.M., Saleh T.S., Dritsas P., Mahyoub J.A., Baeshen M.N., Madian H.R., Alkhaled M., Aggelis G.

Fatty acid amides (FAAs) are of great interest due to their broad industrial applications. They can be synthesized enzymatically with many advantages over chemical synthesis. In this study, the fatty acid moieties of lipids of Cunninghamella echinulata ATHUM 4411, Umbelopsis isabellina ATHUM 2935, Nannochloropsis gaditana CCAP 849/5, olive oil, and an eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) concentrate were converted into their fatty acid methyl esters and used in the FAA (i.e., ethylene diamine amides) enzymatic synthesis, using lipases as biocatalysts. The FAA synthesis, monitored using in situ NMR, FT-IR, and thin-layer chromatography, was catalyzed efficiently by the immobilized Candida rugosa lipase. The synthesized FAAs exhibited a significant antimicrobial activity, especially those containing oleic acid in high proportions (i.e., derived from olive oil and U. isabellina oil), against several human pathogenic microorganisms, insecticidal activity against yellow fever mosquito, especially those of C. echinulata containing gamma-linolenic acid, and anticancer properties against SKOV-3 ovarian cancer cell line, especially those containing EPA in their structures (i.e., EPA concentrate and N. gaditana oil). We conclude that FAAs can be efficiently synthesized using microbial oils of different fatty acid composition and used in specific biological applications. © 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Enzymatic synthesis of glucose fatty acid esters using scos as acyl group-donors and their biological activities

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Journal: Applied Sciences (Switzerland), 2021, 11(6), 2700
Authors: El-Baz H.A., Elazzazy A.M., Saleh T.S., Dourou M., Mahyoub J.A., Baeshen M.N., Madian H.R., Aggelis G.

Sugar fatty acid esters, especially glucose fatty acid esters (GEs), have broad applications in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. In this research, the fatty acid moieties derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids containing single-cell oils (SCOs) (i.e., those produced from Cunninghamella echinulata, Umbelopsis isabellina and Nannochloropsis gaditana, as well as from olive oil and an eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) concentrate) were converted into GEs by enzymatic synthesis, using lipases as biocatalysts. The GE synthesis was monitored using thin-layer chromatog-raphy, FTIR and in situ NMR. It was found that GE synthesis carried out using immobilized Candida antarctica B lipase was very effective, reaching total conversion of reactants. It was shown that EPA-GEs were very effective against several pathogenic bacteria and their activity can be attributed to their high EPA content. Furthermore, C. echinulata-GEs were more effective against pathogens compared with U. isabellina-GEs, probably due to the presence of gamma linolenic acid (GLA) in the lipids of C. echinulata, which is known for its antimicrobial activity, in higher concentrations. C. echinulata-GEs also showed strong insecticidal activity against Aedes aegypti larvae, followed by EPA-GEs, olive oil-GEs and N. gaditana-GEs. All synthesized GEs induced apoptosis of the SKOV-3 ovarian cancer cell line, with the apoptotic rate increasing significantly after 48 h. A higher percentage of apoptosis was observed in the cells treated with EPA-GEs, followed by C. echinulata-GEs, U. isabellina-GEs and olive oil-GEs. We conclude that SCOs can be used in the synthesis of GEs with interesting biological properties. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Production of Industrial Enzymes via Pichia pastoris as a Cell Factory in Bioreactor: Current Status and Future Aspects

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Journal: Protein Journal 2021, E-pub Ahead of Print.
Authors: Duman-Özdamar, Z.E.; Binay, B.

Industrial enzymes have been widely preferred in various industries such as chemical production, food & beverage, pharmaceutical, textile, cosmetics, etc. due to the advancements in recent years. They are considered more economic than using whole cells and more environmental-friendly than chemical alternatives. Since the demand for industrial enzymes has been rising, the development of production strategies has been gathered speed. In this respect, the efficiency of Pichia pastoris (P. pastoris) as a host for heterologous protein expression has proved and gained attention due to its great potential for large-scale studies. Especially high-cell density fermentation of P. pastoris is a well-studied and efficient method. Moreover, the improvements in the state of art gene-editing tools have broadened the possibilities of strain improvement for P. pastoris. This review summarized the role of P. pastoris as a cell factory by accentuating the accomplishments in biocatalyst production. Moreover, the benefits and challenges of the most relevant expression systems named Escherichia coli (E. coli), Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae), P. pastoris and recent evolvements and future directions were revealed in detail. Subsequently, offers for prospects and the latest evolvements to enhance the recombinant protein production were discussed. © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC part of Springer Nature.

Production of Industrial Enzymes via Pichia pastoris as a Cell Factory in Bioreactor: Current Status and Future Aspects

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Journal: Protein Journal 2021, E-pub Ahead of Print.
Authors: Duman-Özdamar, Z.E.; Binay, B.

Industrial enzymes have been widely preferred in various industries such as chemical production, food & beverage, pharmaceutical, textile, cosmetics, etc. due to the advancements in recent years. They are considered more economic than using whole cells and more environmental-friendly than chemical alternatives. Since the demand for industrial enzymes has been rising, the development of production strategies has been gathered speed. In this respect, the efficiency of Pichia pastoris (P. pastoris) as a host for heterologous protein expression has proved and gained attention due to its great potential for large-scale studies. Especially high-cell density fermentation of P. pastoris is a well-studied and efficient method. Moreover, the improvements in the state of art gene-editing tools have broadened the possibilities of strain improvement for P. pastoris. This review summarized the role of P. pastoris as a cell factory by accentuating the accomplishments in biocatalyst production. Moreover, the benefits and challenges of the most relevant expression systems named Escherichia coli (E. coli), Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae), P. pastoris and recent evolvements and future directions were revealed in detail. Subsequently, offers for prospects and the latest evolvements to enhance the recombinant protein production were discussed. © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC part of Springer Nature.

Optimization of synthetic media composition for Kluyveromyces marxianus fed-batch cultivation

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Journal: Fermentation 2021, 7(2), 62
Authors: Dubencovs, K.; Liepins, J.; Suleiko, A.; Suleiko, A.; Vangravs, R.; Kassaliete, J.; Scerbaka, R.; Grigs, O.

The Kluyveromyces marxianus yeast recently has gained considerable attention due to its applicability in high-value-added product manufacturing. In order to intensify the biosynthesis rate of a target product, reaching high biomass concentrations in the reaction medium is mandatory. Fed-batch processes are an attractive and efficient way how to achieve high cell densities. However, depending on the physiology of the particular microbial strain, an optimal media composition should be used to avoid by-product synthesis and, subsequently, a decrease in overall process effi-ciency. Thus, the aim of the present study was to optimise the synthetic growth medium and feeding solution compositions (in terms of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, magnesium, and calcium concentrations) for high cell density K. marxianus fed‑batch cultivations. Additionally, the biomass yields from the vitamin mixture and other macro/microelements were identified. A model predictive control algorithm was successfully applied for a fed-batch cultivation control. Biomass growth and substrate consumption kinetics were compared with the mathematical model predictions. Finally, 2‑phenylethanol biosynthesis was induced and its productivity was estimated. The determined optimal macronutrient ratio for K. marxianus biomass growth was identified as C:N:P = 1:0.07:0.011. The maximal attained yeast biomass concentration was close to 70 g·L-1 and the 2-PE biosynthesis rate was 0.372 g·L−1·h−1, with a yield of 74% from 2-phenylalanine

Toward green flotation: Interaction of a sophorolipid biosurfactant with a copper sulfide

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Journal: Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2021, 585, pp. 386-399.
Authors: Dhar, P.; Havskjold, H.; Thornhill, M.; Roelants, S.; Soetaert, W.; Kota, H.R.; Chernyshova, I.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals have sparked growing interest in biosurfactants from many surfactant-loaded industries including those utilizing froth flotation for mineral separation. However, the interaction of biosurfactants with mineral surfaces is currently poorly understood. We bridge this gap by studying adsorption of a yeast-derived bola acidic sophorolipid (ASL) biosurfactant on djurleite (Cu1.94S). The methods used include Hallimond flotation, contact angle, adsorption isotherm, zeta potential, leaching measurements, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). To facilitate the interpretation of the adsorption results, we characterize the activity of ASL at the air-water interface and measure its critical micelle concentration (CMC) at different pH using static surface tension. We find ASL to be a multifunctional surfactant with an unusual, pH-sensitive interfacial behavior. At the air-water interface, ASL is most active at pH 8, while its CMC goes through minimum as low as 40 μM at pH 7. The surfactant adsorption at the djurleite-water interface makes the sulfide surface hydrophilic at acidic pH and hydrophobic at neutral and basic pH. In addition, ASL has strong affinity to copper sulfide and demonstrates metal leaching properties. Finally, ASL demonstrates detergency properties. We offer a mechanistic interpretation of these findings. Our results provide a basis for the application of acidic glycolipids in froth flotation and have implications for their application in ion separation using hydrometallurgical routes, as well as for the chemical stability of metal sulfides in environmental systems.

The role of transport proteins in the production of microbial glycolipid biosurfactants

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Journal: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 2021, 105(5), 1779-1793
Authors: Claus S., Jenkins Sánchez L., Van Bogaert I.N.A.

Several microorganisms are currently being used as production platform for glycolipid biosurfactants, providing a greener alternative to chemical biosurfactants. One of the reasons why these processes are commercially competitive is the fact that microbial producers can efficiently export their product to the extracellular environment, reaching high product titers. Glycolipid biosynthetic genes are often found in a dedicated cluster, amidst which genes encoding a dedicated transporter committed to shuttle the glycolipid to the extracellular environment are often found, as is the case for many other secondary metabolites. Knowing this, one can rely on gene clustering features to screen for novel putative transporters, as described and performed in this review. The above strategy proves to be very powerful to identify glycolipid transporters in fungi but is less valid for bacterial systems. Indeed, the genetics of these export systems are currently largely unknown, but some hints are given. Apart from the direct export of the glycolipid, several other transport systems have an indirect effect on glycolipid production. Specific importers dictate which hydrophilic and hydrophobic substrates can be used for production and influence the final yields. In eukaryotes, cellular compartmentalization allows the assembly of glycolipid building blocks in a highly specialized and efficient way. Yet, this requires controlled transport across intracellular membranes. Next to the direct export of glycolipids, the current state of the art regarding this indirect involvement of transporter systems in microbial glycolipid synthesis is summarized in this review. Key points: • Transporters are directly and indirectly involved in microbial glycolipid synthesis. • Yeast glycolipid transporters are found in their biosynthetic gene cluster. • Hydrophilic and hydrophobic substrate uptake influence microbial glycolipid synthesis. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]. © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH, DE part of Springer Nature.

Use of Hanseniaspora guilliermondii and Hanseniaspora opuntiae to enhance the aromatic profile of beer in mixed-culture fermentation with Saccharomyces cerevisiae

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Journal: Food Microbiology 2021, 95, 103678
Authors: Bourbon-Melo, N.; Palma, M.; Rocha, M.P.; Ferreira, A.; Bronze, M.R.; Elias, H.; Sá-Correia, I.

Beer production is predominantly carried out by Saccharomyces species, such as S. cerevisiae and S. pastorianus. However, the introduction of non-Saccharomyces yeasts in the brewing process is now seen as a promising strategy to improve and differentiate the organoleptic profile of beer. In this study, 17 non-Saccharomyces strains of 12 distinct species were isolated and submitted to a preliminary sensory evaluation to determine their potential for beer bioflavouring. Hanseniaspora guilliermondii IST315 and H. opuntiae IST408 aroma profiles presented the highest acceptability and were described as having ‘fruity’ and ‘toffee’ notes, respectively. Their presence in mixed-culture fermentations with S. cerevisiae US-05 did not influence attenuation and ethanol concentration of beer but had a significant impact in its volatile composition. Notably, while both strains reduced the total amount of ethyl esters, H. guilliermondii IST315 greatly increased the concentration of acetate esters, especially when sequentially inoculated, leading to an 8.2-fold increase in phenylethyl acetate (‘rose’, ‘honey’ aroma) in the final beverage. These findings highlight the importance of non-Saccharomyces yeasts in shaping the aroma profile of beer and suggest a role for Hanseniaspora spp. in improving it. © 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Optimised bioconversion of xylose derived from pre-treated crop residues into xylitol by using Candida boidinii

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Journal: Agronomy 2021, 11, 79.
Authors: Bedő, S.; Fehér, A.; Khunnonkwao, P.; Jantama, K.; Fehér, C.

Crop residues can serve as low-cost feedstocks for microbial production of xylitol which offers many advantages over the commonly used chemical process. However, enhancing the efficiency of xylitol fermentation is still a barrier to industrial implementation. In this study, the effects of oxygen transfer rate (OTR) (1.1, 2.1, 3.1 mmol O2/(L*h)) and initial xylose concentration (30, 55, 80 g/L) on xylitol production of Candida boidinii NCAIM Y.01308 on xylose medium were investigated and optimized by response surface methodology, and xylitol fermentations were performed on xylose-rich hydrolysates of wheat bran and rice straw. High values of maximum xylitol yields (58%-63%) were achieved at low initial xylose concentration (20-30 g/L) and OTR values (1.1-1.5 mmol O2/(L*h)). The highest value for maximum xylitol productivity (0.96 g/(L*h)) was predicted at 71 g/L initial xylose and 2.7 mmol O2/(L*h) OTR. Maximum xylitol yield and productivity obtained on wheat bran hydrolysate were 60% and 0.58 g/(L*h), respectively. On detoxified and supplemented hydrolysate of rice straw, maximum xylitol yield and productivity of 30% and 0.19 g/(L*h) were achieved. This study revealed the terms affecting the xylitol production by C. boidinii and provided validated models to predict the achievable xylitol yields and productivities under different conditions. Efficient pre-treatments for xylose-rich hydrolysates from rice straw and wheat bran were selected. Fermentation using wheat bran hydrolysate and C. boidinii under optimised condition is proved as a promising method for biotechnological xylitol production.

Optimised fractionation of brewer’s spent grain for a biorefinery producing sugars, oligosaccharides, and bioethanol

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Journal: Processes 2021, 9(2), 366
Authors: Bedő S., Rozbach M., Nagy L., Fehér A., Fehér C.

Brewer’s spent grain (BSG) is the main by-product of the beer brewing process. It has a huge potential as a feedstock for bio-based manufacturing processes to produce high-value bioproducts, biofuels, and platform chemicals. For the valorisation of BSG in a biorefinery process, efficient fractionation and bio-conversion processes are required. The aim of our study was to develop a novel fractionation of BSG for the production of arabinose, arabino-xylooligomers, xylose, and bioethanol. A fractionation process including two-step acidic and enzymatic hydrolysis steps was investigated and optimised by a response surface methodology and a desirability function approach to fractionate the carbohydrate content of BSG. In the first acidic hydrolysis, high arabinose yield (76%) was achieved under the optimised conditions (90◦C, 1.85 w/w% sulphuric acid, 19.5 min) and an arabinose-and arabino-xylooligomer-rich supernatant was obtained. In the second acidic hydrolysis, the remaining xylan was solubilised (90% xylose yield) resulting in a xylose-rich hydrolysate. The last, enzymatic hydrolysis step resulted in a glucose-rich supernatant (46 g/L) under optimised conditions (15 w/w% solids loading, 0.04 g/g enzyme dosage). The glucose-rich fraction was successfully used for bioethanol production (72% ethanol yield by commercial baker’s yeast). The developed and optimised process offers an efficient way for the value-added utilisation of BSG. Based on the validated models, the amounts of the produced sugars, the composition of the sugar streams and solubilised oligo-saccharides are predictable and variable by changing the reaction conditions of the process. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Kinetic modelling of the biochemical 9-octadecenedioic acid production and lipid accumulation using differently functionalised C18:1 substrates

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Journal: Biochemical Engineering Journal 2021, 166
Authors: Bauwelinck J., Wittner N., Broos W., Wijnants M., Tavernier S., Cornet I.

The potential use of different hydrophobic substrates (oleic acid, oleyl alcohol, methyl oleate and rapeseed oil) for the production of high concentrations of 9-octadecenedioic acid by the genetically engineered C. tropicalis ATCC-20962 yeast was researched. For comparison purposes, data for growth, intracellular triacylglyceride (TAG) accumulation and dicarboxylic acid (DCA) production were obtained for mathematical description using both known and newly adapted models. Fermentations were carried out in an aerated, stirred 2L-fermenter in which temperature (30°C) and pH (8.2) were controlled automatically. Using oleic acid resulted in the highest DCA production, i.e. 31.3 g.L−1 in 144 h, as well as the highest intracellular TAG concentration (60.5 m%). Mass balance calculations proved that 35 % of the consumed oleic acid was used for TAG accumulation. The oleyl alcohol and rapeseed oil substrates showed high initial DCA production rates as well, however, after 80 h, DCA production stopped to reach a maximum. In contrast, with methyl oleate substrate, a very slow production was observed without approaching a maximum within the experimental time. © 2020 Elsevier B.V.

Chocolate industry side streams as a valuable feedstock for microbial long-chain dicarboxylic acid production

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Journal: Biochemical Engineering Journal 2021, 167
Authors: Bauwelinck J., Caluwé M., Wijnants M., Wittner N., Broos W., Dries J., Akkermans V., Tavernier S., Cornet I.

Two high-fat containing side streams from the chocolate industry were evaluated as an alternative renewable substrate for biochemical long-chain dicarboxylic acid (DCA) production by Candida tropicalis. Cleaning water from liquid chocolate transport and dissolved air flotation (DAF) sludge from the wastewater treatment plant contained 29 and 18 m% fat respectively. The addition of up to 100 g.L−1 of the ‘chocolate water’ and 80 % (v/v) of DAF sludge had no negative effects on both growth and DCA production. In a fed-batch reactor, a DCA concentration of 5.8 g.L−1 was obtained after 120 h and 47.5 % of the consumed fats were converted to DCA upon glucose addition when using chocolate water. Using DAF sludge, a DCA concentration of 4.9 g.L−1 was obtained after 72 h, equalling 37.5 % of the consumed fats. This research shows the potential of the researched side streams as a substrate for DCA production. © 2020 Elsevier B.V.

Metabolite transport and its impact on metabolic engineering approaches

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Journal: FEMS Microbiology Letters 2021, 368(1), fnaa211
Authors: Agrimi, G.; Steiger, M.G.

Cells are the structural units of life and are separated from the environment by at least one cellular membrane consisting of a lipid bilayer. Thus, metabolite transport across cellular membranes is a key feature of living organisms. Specialized proteins or protein complexes mediate transport processes and are accessible to metabolic engineering approaches. Genetic modifications in metabolic engineering has mostly involved the deletion or overexpression of genes encoding for enzymes. The role of transporters has received much less attention, but as this special issue shows, it is a key factor to consider when rationally designing microbial cell factories. Transporters have been employed in metabolic engineering endeavors to target three fundamental aspects: 1) Import of substrates; 2) Export of products; 3) Modification of intracellular fluxes.

Characterization of a Maltase from an Early-Diverged Non-Conventional Yeast Blastobotrys adeninivorans

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Journal: Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 297
Authors: Visnapuu, T.; Meldre, A.; Põšnograjeva, K.; Viigand, K.; Ernits, K.; Alamäe, T.

Genome of an early-diverged yeast Blastobotrys (Arxula) adeninivorans (Ba) encodes 88 glycoside hydrolases (GHs) including two α-glucosidases of GH13 family. One of those, the rna_ARAD1D20130g-encoded protein (BaAG2; 581 aa) was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified and characterized. We showed that maltose, other maltose-like substrates (maltulose, turanose, maltotriose, melezitose, malto-oligosaccharides of DP 4‒7) and sucrose were hydrolyzed by BaAG2, whereas isomaltose and isomaltose-like substrates (palatinose, α-methylglucoside) were not, confirming that BaAG2 is a maltase. BaAG2 was competitively inhibited by a diabetes drug acarbose (Ki = 0.8 µM) and Tris (Ki = 70.5 µM). BaAG2 was competitively inhibited also by isomaltose-like sugars and a hydrolysis product—glucose. At high maltose concentrations, BaAG2 exhibited transglycosylating ability producing potentially prebiotic di- and trisaccharides. Atypically for yeast maltases, a low but clearly recordable exo-hydrolytic activity on amylose, amylopectin and glycogen was detected. Saccharomyces cerevisiae maltase MAL62, studied for comparison, had only minimal ability to hydrolyze these polymers, and its transglycosylating activity was about three times lower compared to BaAG2. Sequence identity of BaAG2 with other maltases was only moderate being the highest (51%) with the maltase MalT of Aspergillus oryzae.

Patterns of Lignocellulosic Sugar Assimilation and Lipid Production by Newly Isolated Yeast Strains From Chilean Valdivian Forest

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Journal: Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 2020, 192(4), 1124-1146
Authors: Valdés G., Mendonça R.T., Parra C., Aggelis G.

Three yeast strains were isolated from decaying wood of Chilean Valdivian forest and identified as Meyerozyma guilliermondii, Scheffersomyces coipomensis, and Sugiyamaella paludigena. These strains were able to efficiently grow on the major monomers contained in Pinus spp. and Eucalyptus spp. wood that includes glucose (Glc), xylose (Xyl), and mannose (Man), showing at 28 °C higher uptake rates for Man, and in some cases for Glc, than for Xyl, used as single carbon sources. Nevertheless, in cultures performed on sugar mixtures, the strains displayed a notable preference for Glc. Additionally, in sugar mixtures, the absence of regulatory mechanisms in sugar assimilation (e.g., catabolic repression) was observed and documented when the activities of several enzymes involved in sugar assimilation (i.e., phosphoglucose isomerase, phosphomannose isomerase, and xylulokinase) were determined. The activity of the key enzymes involved in the onset of lipid accumulation (i.e., NAD+-ICDH) and in fatty acid (FA) biosynthesis (i.e., ATP:CL) indicated a significant accumulation of storage lipids (i.e., up to 24%, w/w) containing oleic and palmitic acids as the major components. The present paper is the first report on the potential of M. guilliermondii, S. coipomensis, and S. paludigena as oleaginous yeasts. We conclude that the new isolates, being able to simultaneously assimilate the major lignocellulosic sugars and efficiently convert them into oily biomass, present a biotechnological potential which deserve further investigation. © 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Lignocellulosic biomass as a substrate for oleaginous microorganisms: A review

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Journal: Applied Sciences (Switzerland) 2020, 10(21), 7698
Authors: Valdés G., Mendonça R.T., Aggelis G.

Microorganisms capable of accumulating lipids in high percentages, known as oleaginous microorganisms, have been widely studied as an alternative for producing oleochemicals and biofuels. Microbial lipid, so-called Single Cell Oil (SCO), production depends on several growth parameters, including the nature of the carbon substrate, which must be efficiently taken up and converted into storage lipid. Οn the other hand, substrates considered for large scale applications must be abundant and of low acquisition cost. Among others, lignocellulosic biomass is a promising renewable substrate containing high percentages of assimilable sugars (hexoses and pentoses). However, it is also highly recalcitrant, and therefore it requires specific pretreatments in order to release its assimilable components. The main drawback of lignocellulose pretreatment is the generation of several by-products that can inhibit the microbial metabolism. In this review, we discuss the main aspects related to the cultivation of oleaginous microorganisms using lignocellulosic biomass as substrate, hoping to contribute to the development of a sustainable process for SCO production in the near future. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Factors influencing adhesion of bacteria Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and yeast Pichia membranifaciens to wooden surfaces

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Journal: Wood Science and Technology 2020, 54(6), 1663-1676
Authors: Tomičić R., Tomičić Z., Thaler N., Humar M., Raspor P.

The aim of this study was to assess the potential of bacteria Escherichia coli ATCC 35218, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 and yeast Pichia membranifaciens ZIM 2417 to adhere to wooden surfaces such as poplar (Populus sp.), Norway spruce (Picea abies), European beech (Fagus sylvatica), beech coated with the commercial Belinka oil food contact and disinfectant P3-oxonia active 150, and investigate their survival on the beech wood surface under different relative humidities (RH; 65%, 75%, 85%, 98%) and temperatures (10 °C, 20 °C, 27 °C/37 °C). To extend the research goals, the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis was also performed. The adhesion was determined by the number of colony-forming units per mm2 of sample (CFU/mm2). Results showed that all tested bacteria and yeast were able to adhere to the wooden surfaces, although differences were observed according to strains and type of wood. It was evident that number of adhered cells of S. aureus was lower on spruce (3.62 × 103 CFU/mm2) compared to poplar and beech (1.09 × 105 and 2.11 × 104 CFU/mm2, respectively). Furthermore, oil and disinfectant promoted the adhesion of P. aeruginosa (155.93 and 130.50%, respectively) on the beech surfaces, while they had a strong inhibitory effect on the other tested microorganisms E. coli (87.44 and 88.44%, respectively), S. aureus (91.24 and 96.80%, respectively) and P. membranifaciens (92.45 and 87.24%, respectively). These findings are consistent with SEM micrographs. The current data also indicated that relative humidity and temperature significantly affected the adhesion of tested bacteria and yeast. The highest degree of adhesion was observed at a relative humidity of 98% and temperature of 20 and 37 °C for bacteria, or 20 and 27 °C for yeast. Thus, the knowledge of how these microorganisms adhere to wooden surfaces and which factors affect this phenomenon proves to be of great importance in order to avoid their colonization. © 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

Xylose Metabolism and the Effect of Oxidative Stress on Lipid and Carotenoid Production in Rhodotorula toruloides: Insights for Future Biorefinery

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Journal: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 2020, 8, 1008
Authors: Pinheiro M.J., Bonturi N., Belouah I., Miranda E.A., Lahtvee P.-J.

The use of cell factories to convert sugars from lignocellulosic biomass into chemicals in which oleochemicals and food additives, such as carotenoids, is essential for the shift toward sustainable processes. Rhodotorula toruloides is a yeast that naturally metabolises a wide range of substrates, including lignocellulosic hydrolysates, and converts them into lipids and carotenoids. In this study, xylose, the main component of hemicellulose, was used as the sole substrate for R. toruloides, and a detailed physiology characterisation combined with absolute proteomics and genome-scale metabolic models was carried out to understand the regulation of lipid and carotenoid production. To improve these productions, oxidative stress was induced by hydrogen peroxide and light irradiation and further enhanced by adaptive laboratory evolution. Based on the online measurements of growth and CO2 excretion, three distinct growth phases were identified during batch cultivations. Majority of the intracellular flux estimations showed similar trends with the measured protein levels and demonstrated improved NADPH regeneration, phosphoketolase activity and reduced β-oxidation, correlating with increasing lipid yields. Light irradiation resulted in 70% higher carotenoid and 40% higher lipid content compared to the optimal growth conditions. The presence of hydrogen peroxide did not affect the carotenoid production but culminated in the highest lipid content of 0.65 g/gDCW. The adapted strain showed improved fitness and 2.3-fold higher carotenoid content than the parental strain. This work presents a holistic view of xylose conversion into microbial oil and carotenoids by R. toruloides, in a process toward renewable and cost-effective production of these molecules. © Copyright © 2020 Pinheiro, Bonturi, Belouah, Miranda and Lahtvee.

Candida intermedia CBS 141442: A novel glucose/xylose co-fermenting isolate for lignocellulosic bioethanol production

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Journal: Energies 2020, 13(20), 5363
Authors: Moreno A.D., Tomás-Pejó E., Olsson L., Geijer C.

The present study describes the isolation of the novel strain Candida intermedia CBS 141442 and investigates the potential of this microorganism for the conversion of lignocellulosic streams. Different C. intermedia clones were isolated during an adaptive laboratory evolution experiment under the selection pressure of lignocellulosic hydrolysate and in strong competition with industrial, xylose-fermenting Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells. Isolates showed different but stable colony and cell morphologies when growing in a solid agar medium (smooth, intermediate and complex morphology) and liquid medium (unicellular, aggregates and pseudohyphal morphology). Clones of the same morphology showed similar fermentation patterns, and the C. intermedia clone I5 (CBS 141442) was selected for further testing due to its superior capacity for xylose consumption (90% of the initial xylose concentration within 72 h) and the highest ethanol yields (0.25 ± 0.02 g ethanol/g sugars consumed). Compared to the well-known yeast Scheffersomyces stipitis, the selected strain showed slightly higher tolerance to the lignocellulosic-derived inhibitors when fermenting a wheat straw hydrolysate. Furthermore, its higher glucose consumption rates (compared to S. stipitis) and its capacity for glucose and xylose co-fermentation makes C. intermedia CBS 141442 an attractive microorganism for the conversion of lignocellulosic substrates, as demonstrated in simultaneous saccharification and fermentation processes. © 2020 by the authors.

YEASTRACT+: A portal for cross-species comparative genomics of transcription regulation in yeasts

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Journal: Nucleic Acids Research 2020, 48(D1), D642-D649
Authors: Monteiro, P.T.; Oliveira, J.; Pais, P.; Antunes, M.; Palma, M.; Cavalheiro, M.; Galocha, M.; Godinho, C.P.; Martins, L.C.; Bourbon, N.; Mota, M.N.; Ribeiro, R.A.; Viana, R.; Sá-Correia, I.; Teixeira, M.C.

The YEASTRACT+ information system ( is a wide-scope tool for the analysis and prediction of transcription regulatory associations at the gene and genomic levels in yeasts of biotechnological or human health relevance. YEASTRACT+ is a new portal that integrates the previously existing YEASTRACT ( and PathoYeastract ( databases and introduces the NCYeastract (Non-Conventional Yeastract) database (, focused on the so-called non-conventional yeasts. The information in the YEASTRACT database, focused on Saccharomyces cerevisiae, was updated. PathoYeastract was extended to include two additional pathogenic yeast species: Candida parapsilosis and Candida tropicalis. Furthermore, the NCYeastract database was created, including five biotechnologically relevant yeast species: Zygosaccharomyces baillii, Kluyveromyces lactis, Kluyveromyces marxianus, Yarrowia lipolytica and Komagataella phaffii. The YEASTRACT+ portal gathers 289 706 unique documented regulatory associations between transcription factors (TF) and target genes and 420 DNA binding sites, considering 247 TFs from 10 yeast species. YEASTRACT+ continues to make available tools for the prediction of the TFs involved in the regulation of gene/genomic expression. In this release, these tools were upgraded to enable predictions based on orthologous regulatory associations described for other yeast species, including two new tools for cross-species transcription regulation comparison, based on multi-species promoter and TF regulatory network analyses. © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

Valorisation of pectin-rich agro-industrial residues by yeasts: potential and challenges

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Journal: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 2020, 104(15), 6527-6547
Authors: Martins, L.C.; Monteiro, C.C.; Semedo, P.M.; Sá-Correia, I.

Pectin-rich agro-industrial residues are feedstocks with potential for sustainable biorefineries. They are generated in high amounts worldwide from the industrial processing of fruits and vegetables. The challenges posed to the industrial implementation of efficient bioprocesses are however manyfold and thoroughly discussed in this review paper, mainly at the biological level. The most important yeast cell factory platform for advanced biorefineries is currently Saccharomyces cerevisiae, but this yeast species cannot naturally catabolise the main sugars present in pectin-rich agro-industrial residues hydrolysates, in particular d-galacturonic acid and l-arabinose. However, there are non-Saccharomyces species (non-conventional yeasts) considered advantageous alternatives whenever they can express highly interesting metabolic pathways, natively assimilate a wider range of carbon sources or exhibit higher tolerance to relevant bioprocess-related stresses. For this reason, the interest in non-conventional yeasts for biomass-based biorefineries is gaining momentum. This review paper focuses on the valorisation of pectin-rich residues by exploring the potential of yeasts that exhibit vast metabolic versatility for the efficient use of the carbon substrates present in their hydrolysates and high robustness to cope with the multiple stresses encountered. The major challenges and the progresses made related with the isolation, selection, sugar catabolism, metabolic engineering and use of non-conventional yeasts and S. cerevisiae-derived strains for the bioconversion of pectin-rich residue hydrolysates are discussed. The reported examples of value-added products synthesised by different yeasts using pectin-rich residues are reviewed.Key Points• Review of the challenges and progresses made on the bioconversion of pectin-rich residues by yeasts.• Catabolic pathways for the main carbon sources present in pectin-rich residues hydrolysates.• Multiple stresses with potential to affect bioconversion productivity.• Yeast metabolic engineering to improve pectin-rich residues bioconversion. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]. © 2020, The Author(s).

Screening of oleaginous yeasts for lipid production using volatile fatty acids as substrate

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Journal: Biomass and Bioenergy 2020, 138, 105553
Authors: Llamas M., Dourou M., González-Fernández C., Aggelis G., Tomás-Pejó E.

Using residual material instead of sugars as substrate for oleaginous microorganisms is a promising approach that may reduce the production costs of microbial lipid. In this study, five oleaginous yeasts were screened for their ability to grow and produce lipid utilizing volatile fatty acids (VFAs), generated from anaerobic fermentation of microalgal biomass, as the only carbon and energy source. Yeasts growth and lipid accumulation capacity at three VFAs concentrations (i.e. 5, 10 and 15 g L−1) were evaluated. Regardless of VFAs concentration four of the five strains were able to grow in digestates reaching biomass yields from VFAs between 0.22 and 0.37 g g−1. The highest lipid content in dry biomass was observed in Cutaneotrichosporon curvatum and Cyberlindnera saturnus (36.9 and 33.9% on dry biomass, respectively) corresponding to lipid yields from VFAs of 0.11 and 0.13 g g−1, respectively. Oleic, palmitic and linoleic acids were the major fatty acids, accounting for more than 70% of the fatty acids contained in total yeast lipids, profile similar to that of common vegetable oils. The above findings suggest that microalgal biomass derived VFAs could be converted into yeast lipid suitable as feedstock in the chemical (including biofuel) industry. © 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Microbial sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and the prospect of organic residues and wastes as growth media for PUFA-producing microorganisms

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Journal: FEMS Microbiology Letters 2020, 367(5), fnaa028
Authors: Kothri M., Mavrommati M., Elazzazy A.M., Baeshen M.N., Moussa T.A.A., Aggelis G.

The discovery of non-fish sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is of great biotechnological importance. Although various oleaginous microalgae and fungi are able of accumulating storage lipids (single cell oils - SCOs) containing PUFAs, the industrial applications utilizing these organisms are rather limited due to the high-fermentation cost. However, combining SCO production with other biotechnological applications, including waste and by-product valorization, can overcome this difficulty. In the current review, we present the major sources of fungi (i.e. members of Mucoromycota, fungoid-like Thraustochytrids and genetically modified strains of Yarrowia lipolytica) and microalgae (e.g. Isochrysis, NannochloropsisandTetraselmis) that have come recently to the forefront due to their ability to produce PUFAs. Approaches adopted in order to increase PUFA productivity and the potential of using various residues, such as agro-industrial, food and aquaculture wastes as fermentation substrates for SCO production have been considered and discussed. We concluded that several organic residues can be utilized as feedstock in the SCO production increasing the competitiveness of oleaginous organisms against conventional PUFA producers. © FEMS 2020.

Identification and importance of mitochondrial citrate carriers and ATP citrate lyase for glycolipid production in Starmerella bombicola

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Journal: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 2020, 104(14), 6235-6248
Authors: Jezierska S., Claus S., Van Bogaert I.N.A.

Starmerella bombicola is a non-conventional yeast commercially used as a microbial cell factory for sophorolipid production. Sophorolipids are glycolipid biosurfactants composed of a glucose disaccharide sophorose and a fatty acid. In de novo sophorolipid synthesis, the fatty acid moiety is derived from the fatty acid synthesis (FAS) complex; therefore, the yeast’s lipid metabolism plays a crucial role in sophorolipid biosynthesis. As a fatty acid precursor, citric acid is a key primary metabolite that connects carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, and in S. bombicola, it also has a regulatory effect on sophorolipid composition and productivity. We aimed to identify the mitochondrial transporters involved in citrate shuttling and the ATP citrate lyase (Acl), the enzyme that converts citric acid into acetyl-CoA. Subsequently, we studied their role in the citric acid shuttle and glycolipid synthesis and the potential of citrate metabolism as a genetic manipulation target for increased glycolipid synthesis. Bioinformatics analyses predicted 32 mitochondrial carriers of which two were identified as citrate transporters, named SbCtp1 and SbYhm2. Deletion of these mitochondrial carriers led to a lesser sophorolipid yield and a shift in the lactonic/acidic sophorolipid ratio. However, only the knockout of SbYhm2 caused a decrease of citric and an increase of malic acid extracellular concentrations. Additionally, deletion of SbAcl1 had a negative effect on S. bombicola’s specific growth rate and sophorolipid synthesis and contributed to extra- and intracellular citric acid accumulation. Unexpectedly, SbAcl1 overexpression also decreased glycolipid production.• Starmerella bombicola is an industrially relevant microbial cell factory for biosurfactant production.• There are 32 predicted mitochondrial carriers in S. bombicola.• Citrate mitochondrial carriers SbYhm2 and SbCtp1 are essential for glycolipid synthesis in S. bombicola.• Deletion of SbAcl1 negatively affects growth and sophorolipid production in S. bombicola. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]. © 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

High-level heterologous expression of active Chaetomium thermophilum FDH in Pichia pastoris

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Journal: Enzyme and Microbial Technology 2020, 137, 109552
Authors: Duman, Z.E.; Duraksoy, B.B.; Aktaş, F.; Woodley, J.M.; Binay, B.

Nowadays, the use of formate dehydrogenase (FDH, EC is well established as a means of NADH regeneration from NAD+ via the coupled conversion of formate into carbon dioxide. Recent studies have been reported that specifically Chaetomium thermophilum FDH (CtFDH) is the most efficient FDH catalyzing this reaction in reverse (i.e. using CO2 as a substrate to produce formate, and thereby regenerating NAD+). However, to date the production of active CtFDH at high protein expression levels has received relatively little attention. In this study, we have tested the effect of batch and high cell density fermentation (HCDF) strategies in a small stirred fermenter, as well as the effect of supplementing the medium with casamino acids, on the expressed level of secreted CtFDH using P. pastoris. We have established that the amount of expressed CtFDH was indeed enhanced via a HCDF strategy and that extracellular protease activity was eliminated via the addition of casamino acids into the fermentation medium. On this basis, secreted CtFDH in an active form can be easily separated from the fermentation and can be used for subsequent biotechnological applications. © 2020 Elsevier Inc.

Revealing the potential of lipid and β-coproduction in basidiomycetes yeast

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Journal: Microorganisms 2020, 8(7), 1034
Authors: Byrtusová, D.; Shapaval, V.; Holub, J.; Šimanský, S.; Rapta, M.; Szotkowski, M.; Kohler, A.; Márová, I.

Beta (β)–glucans are polysaccharides composed of D-glucose monomers. Nowadays, β-glucans are gaining attention due to their attractive immunomodulatory biological activities, which can be utilized in pharmaceutical or food supplementation industries. Some carotenogenic Basidiomycetes yeasts, previously explored for lipid and carotenoid coproduction, could potentially coproduce a significant amount of β–glucans. In the present study, we screened eleven Basidiomycetes for the coproduction of lipids and β–glucans. We examined the effect of four different C/N ratios and eight different osmolarity conditions on the coproduction of lipids and β–glucans. A high-throughput screening approach employing microcultivation in microtiter plates, Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and reference analysis was utilized in the study. Yeast strains C. infirmominiatum CCY 17-18-4 and R. kratochvilovae CCY 20-2-26 were identified as the best coproducers of lipids and β-glucans. In addition, C. infirmominiatum CCY 17-18-4, R. kratochvilovae CCY 20-2-26 and P. rhodozyma CCY 77-1-1 were identified as the best alternative producers of β-glucans. Increased C/N ratio led to increased biomass, lipid and β-glucans production for several yeast strains. Increased osmolarity had a negative effect on biomass and lipid production while the β-glucan production was positively affected. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

The evaluation of oleic acid alternatives for the biochemical production of 9-octadecenedioic acid

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Journal: Biochemical Engineering Journal 2020, 161
Authors: Bauwelinck J., Wijnants M., Tavernier S., Cornet I.

Despite considerable foaming problems, oleic acid is still the most commonly used substrate for the biochemical production of 9-octadecenedioic acid (DCA). In this paper, the suitability of alternative substrates such as oleyl alcohol, methyl-, ethyl- and butyl oleate, was investigated. First, the toxicity of the alternative substrates to the fermenting yeast C. tropicalis ATCC20962 was determined for different substrate concentrations. It was found that the addition of up to 100 g L−1 of the ester and alcohol substrates showed no growth influence. Since alcohols are expected side products when using ester substrates, the toxicity of the corresponding released alcohols was also evaluated. Methanol and ethanol showed no effect on the growth up to 36 g L−1 and 55 gL−1 respectively, whereas a half maximum inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 1.4 g L−1 for butanol was found. Using 20 g L−1 oleic acid, oleyl alcohol, methyl oleate and butyl oleate as substrate showed a yield of 14 g L−1, 7 g L−1, 5 gL-1 and 0.9 g L-1 9-octadecenedioic acid respectively. A qualitative study showed that all four substrates were converted to 9-octadecenedioic acid. Oleic acid resulted in the highest yield whereas oleyl alcohol is the closest candidate for alternative DCA production. © 2020 Elsevier B.V.

Fine-Tuning of Transcription in Pichia pastoris Using dCas9 and RNA Scaffolds

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Journal: ACS Synthetic Biology 2020, 9(12), 3202-3209
Authors: Baumschabl M., Prielhofer R., Mattanovich D., Steiger M.G.

For metabolic engineering approaches, fast and reliable tools are required to precisely manipulate the expression of target genes. dCas9 can be fused via RNA scaffolds to trans-activator domains and thus regulate the gene expression when targeted to the promoter region of a gene. In this work we show that this strategy can be successfully implemented for the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris. It is shown that the thiamine repressible promoter of THI11 can be activated under repression conditions using a scgRNA/dCas9 construct. Furthermore, the RIB1 gene required for riboflavin production was activated, leading to increased riboflavin production exceeding the riboflavin titers of a conventional RIB1 overexpression with a pGAP promoter. © 2020 American Chemical Society.

Identification of genes involved in xylose metabolism of Meyerozyma guilliermondii and their genetic engineering for increased xylitol production

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Journal: AMB Express 2020, 10(1), 78
Authors: Atzmüller D., Ullmann N., Zwirzitz A.

Meyerozyma guilliermondii, a non-conventional yeast that naturally assimilates xylose, is considered as a candidate for biotechnological production of the sugar alternative xylitol. Because the genes of the xylose metabolism were yet unknown, all efforts published so far to increase the xylitol yield of this yeast are limited to fermentation optimization. Hence, this study aimed to genetically engineer this organism for the first time with the objective to increase xylitol production. Therefore, the previously uncharacterized genes of M. guilliermondii ATCC 6260 encoding for xylose reductase (XR) and xylitol dehydrogenase (XDH) were identified by pathway investigations and sequence similarity analysis. Cloning and overexpression of the putative XR as well as knockout of the putative XDH genes generated strains with about threefold increased xylitol yield. Strains that combined both genetic modifications displayed fivefold increase in overall xylitol yield. Enzymatic activity assays with lysates of XR overexpressing and XDH knockout strains underlined the presumed functions of the respective genes. Furthermore, growth evaluation of the engineered strains on xylose as sole carbon source provides insights into xylose metabolism and its utilization for cell growth.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]. © 2020, The Author(s).

Influence of various factors on adhesion of yeast Candida spp. and Pichia spp. to abiotic surfaces

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Journal: Acta Microbiologica Bulgarica, 2019, 35(1), 19-28.
Authors: Tomičić, R., Tomičić, Z., Dodić, S., Raspor, P.

The aim of this study was to assess the potential of Candida species and Pichia species to adhere to stainless steel (AISI 304) material with different degrees of surface roughness and polystyrene as most frequently used contact materials. Cell surface hydrophobicity (CSH) of Candida and Pichia strains was determined in order to assess correlation between the cell surface hydrophobicity and yeast adhesion to polystyrene. Candida albicans showed a higher ability to adhere to both surfaces compared with non-albicans Candida species. Regarding Pichia species, P. membranifaciens strains were less adherent to stainless steel than P. pijperi. Surface roughness of stainless steel was found to affect the adhesion of Candida and Pichia strains, whereas cell surface hydrophobicity was not correlated with adhesion. We also investigated the antimicrobial and antibioflm activity of plant extracts such as Humulus lupulus, Alpinia katsumadai and Evodia rutaecarpa against C. albicans, C. glabrata and P. membranifaciens. According to the MIC values, all plant extracts were effective in inhibiting yeast strains. It was observed that bioflms of C. glabrata were more resistance to plant extracts as compared to C. albicans. However, extracts of A. katsumadai and E. rutaecarpa promoted the growth and development of a preformed bioflm of P. membranifaciens.

Sources of microbial oils with emphasis to Mortierella (Umbelopsis) isabellina fungus

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Journal: World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 2019, 35(4), 63
Authors: Papanikolaou S., Aggelis G.

The last years a constantly rising number of publications have appeared in the literature in relation to the production of oils and fats deriving from microbial sources (the “single cell oils”—SCOs). SCOs can be used as precursors for the synthesis of lipid-based biofuels or employed as substitutes of expensive oils rarely found in the plant or animal kingdom. In the present review-article, aspects concerning SCOs (economics, biochemistry, substrates, technology, scale-up), with emphasis on the potential of Mortierella isabellina were presented. Fats and hydrophilic substrates have been used as carbon sources for cultivating Zygomycetes. Among them, wild-type M. isabellina strains have been reported as excellent SCO-producers, with conversion yields on sugar consumed and lipid in DCW values reported comparable to the maximum ones achieved for genetically engineered SCO-producing strains. Lipids produced on glucose contain γ-linolenic acid (GLA), a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) of high dietary and pharmaceutical importance, though in low concentrations. Nevertheless, due to their abundance in oleic acid, these lipids are perfect precursors for the synthesis of 2nd generation biodiesel, while GLA can be recovered and directed to other usages. Genetic engineering focusing on over-expression of Δ6 and Δ12 desaturases and of C16 elongase may improve the fatty acid composition (viz. increasing the concentration of GLA or other nutritionally important PUFAs) of these lipids. © 2019, Springer Nature B.V.

Physiological Genomics of the Highly Weak-Acid-Tolerant Food Spoilage Yeasts of Zygosaccharomyces bailii sensu lato

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Journal: In: Sá-Correia I. (ed) Yeasts in Biotechnology and Human Health. Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology 2019, vol 58, pp 85-109. Springer, Cham.
Authors: Palma, M.; Sá-Correia, I.

Zygosaccharomyces bailii and two closely related species, Z. parabailii and Z. pseudobailii ("Z. bailii species complex", "Z. bailii sensu lato" or simply "Z. bailii (s.l.)"), are frequently implicated in the spoilage of acidified preserved foods and beverages due to their tolerance to very high concentrations of weak acids used as food preservatives. The recent sequencing and annotation of these species' genomes have clarified their genomic organization and phylogenetic relationship, which includes events of interspecies hybridization. Mechanistic insights into their adaptation and tolerance to weak acids (e.g., acetic and lactic acids) are also being revealed. Moreover, the potential of Z. bailii (s.l.) to be used in industrial biotechnological processes as interesting cell factories for the production of organic acids, reduction of the ethanol content, increase of alcoholic beverages aroma complexity, as well as of genetic source for increasing weak acid resistance in yeast, is currently being considered. This chapter includes taxonomical, ecological, physiological, and biochemical aspects of Z. bailii (s.l.). The focus is on the exploitation of physiological genomics approaches that are providing the indispensable holistic knowledge to guide the effective design of strategies to overcome food spoilage or the rational exploitation of these yeasts as promising cell factories.

Laboratory evolution strategies for improving lipid accumulation in Yarrowia lipolytica

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Journal: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 2019, 103(20), 8585-8596
Authors: Daskalaki A., Perdikouli N., Aggeli D., Aggelis G.

Oleaginous microorganisms are of high biotechnological interest being considered as alternative sources of oil (single cell oil—SCO). Current research for increasing productivity of oleaginous microorganisms is focused on the overexpression of genes implicated in lipid synthesis, the inactivation of genes implicated in storage lipid turnover, and on the suppression of competitive to lipid biosynthesis pathways. An alternative strategy, described here, relies on evolution of Yarrowia lipolytica under alternating environments that promote growth, encourage storage lipid synthesis, and reward high energy-containing cells. Derived populations were characterized biochemically, especially on their ability to accumulate lipids, and compared with the starting strain. Interestingly, lipid-accumulating ability early in the evolution was decreased compared with the starting strain. Subsequently, oleaginous lineages dominated, leading to populations able to accumulate lipids in high amounts. A population obtained after 77 generations was able to accumulate 44% w/w of lipid, which was 30% higher than that of the starting strain. We conclude that evolution-based strategies can be utilized as a robust tool for improving lipid accumulation capacity in oleaginous microorganisms. © 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.