Navigation Links
Genomes of biofuel yeasts reveal clues that could boost fuel ethanol production worldwide
Date:11/8/2009

November 6, 2009 As global temperatures and energy costs continue to soar, renewable sources of energy will be key to a sustainable future. An attractive replacement for gasoline is biofuel, and in two studies published online in Genome Research (www.genome.org), scientists have analyzed the genome structures of bioethanol-producing microorganisms, uncovering genetic clues that will be critical in developing new technologies needed to implement production on a global scale.

Bioethanol is produced from the fermentation of plant material, such as sugar cane and corn, by the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisae, just as in the production of alcoholic beverages. However, yeast strains thriving in the harsh conditions of industrial fuel ethanol production are much more hardy than their beer brewing counterparts, and surprisingly little is known about how these yeast adapted to the industrial environment. If researchers can identify the genetic changes that underlie this adaptation, new yeast strains could be engineered to help shift bioethanol production into high gear across the globe.

Two studies published in Genome Research have taken a major step toward this goal, identifying genomic properties of industrial fuel yeasts that likely gave rise to more robust strains. In one of the studies, researcher Lucas Argueso and colleagues from Duke University and Brazil have sequenced and analyzed the structure of the entire genome of strain PE-2, a prominent industrial strain in Brazil. The group's work revealed that portions of the genome are plastic compared to other yeast strains, specifically the peripheral regions of chromosomes, where they observed a number of sequence rearrangements.

Interestingly, these chromosomal rearrangements in PE-2 amplified genes involved in stress tolerance, which likely contributed to the adaptation of this strain to the industrial environment. As PE-2 is amenable to genetic engineering, the authors believe that their work on PE-2 will open the door to development of new technologies to boost bioethanol production.

In a second study published in Genome Research, researchers from Stanford University and Brazil led by Boris Stambuk and Gavin Sherlock have also analyzed the genome structure of industrial bioethanol yeasts, searching for variations in the number of gene copies in five strains employed in Brazil, including PE-2. Stambuk and colleagues found that all five industrial strains studied harbor amplifications of genes involved in the synthesis of vitamins B6 and B1 compounds critical for efficient growth and utilization of sugar.

The group experimentally demonstrated that the gene amplifications confer robust growth in industrial conditions, indicating that these yeasts likely adapted to limited availability of vitamins in the industrial process to gain a competitive advantage. Furthermore, the authors suggest that this knowledge can be utilized to engineer new strains of yeast capable of even more efficient bioethanol production, from a wider range of agricultural stocks.

It is evident that an expanding human population will require more energy that exerts less impact on the environment, and the information gained from these genomic studies of industrial bioethanol yeasts will be invaluable as biofuel researchers optimize production and implement the technology worldwide.


'/>"/>

Contact: Peggy Calicchia
calicchi@cshl.edu
516-422-4012
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Complete Genomics publishes in Science on low-cost sequencing of 3 human genomes
2. Cellulosic Biofuels Leader Qteros Adds Key Positions
3. Global Biofuels Growth to Double by 2015
4. Will Jatropha Become a 'DotCom Bubble' in Biofuel Industry? Leading to 2nd JatrophaWorld Africa, Jatropha Webinar on 30 Sept 09 Explores Challenges & Offers Strategies for Long-Term Success for This Non-Food Crop for Fuel
5. New Generation Biofuels Receives NASDAQ Notice of Noncompliance with Continued Listing Requirements
6. Analysis of Biofuels Indirect Land Use Effects Finds the Science Lacking: Too Diffuse and Subject To Too Many Arbitrary Assumptions To Be Useful for Rule-making.
7. Aurora Biofuels Breakthrough Doubles CO2 Uptake and Fuel Production
8. Controversies on Jatropha Water-Footprint, Jatropha Cultivation for Biofuel in Tanzania and More on Jatropha Oil Shared by Jatro-Entrepreneur Ruud Van Eck.
9. BP and Verenium Announce Vercipia Biofuels to Advance the Commercialization of Cellulosic Ethanol
10. Synthetic Genomics Inc. and ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company Sign Exclusive, Multi-Year Agreement to Develop Next Generation Biofuels Using Photosynthetic Algae
11. New Generation Biofuels Signs Letter of Intent with Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) of Costa Rica
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed ... pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving ... signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...   Boston Biomedical , an industry leader ... target cancer stemness pathways, announced that its lead ... Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is an orally ... stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and is currently ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook ... Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their official ... Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic ... with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that ... living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at ... New York City . The teams, ... at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. ... curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016 ... ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") LegacyXChange is ... users of its soon to be launched online site ... https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTLBzmZogV1y2D6bDkBX5g ) will also provide potential shareholders ... of DNA technology to an industry that is notorious ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... research report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer Industry by ... & Others), Application (Communication & IT, Entertainment, ... - Global Forecast to 2022", published by ... is expected to reach USD 26.76 Billion ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):