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AMB Express. 2013 Dec 30;3(1):74. doi: 10.1186/2191-0855-3-74.

An organic acid-tolerant HAA1-overexpression mutant of an industrial bioethanol strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its application to the production of bioethanol from sugarcane molasses.

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Research Division of Microbial Sciences, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa-oiwakecho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


Bacterial contamination is known as a major cause of the reduction in ethanol yield during bioethanol production by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Acetate is an effective agent for the prevention of bacterial contamination, but it negatively affects the fermentation ability of S. cerevisiae. We have proposed that the combined use of organic acids including acetate and lactate and yeast strains tolerant to organic acids may be effective for the elimination of principally lactic acid bacterial (LAB) contamination. In a previous study employing laboratory S. cerevisiae strains, we showed that overexpression of the HAA1 gene, which encodes a transcriptional activator, could be a useful molecular breeding method for acetate-tolerant yeast strains. In the present study, we constructed a HAA1-overexpressing diploid strain (MATa/α, named ER HAA1-OP) derived from the industrial bioethanol strain Ethanol Red (ER). ER HAA1-OP showed tolerance not only to acetate but also to lactate, and this tolerance was dependent on the increased expression of HAA1 gene. The ethanol production ability of ER HAA1-OP was almost equivalent to that of the parent strain during the bioethanol production process from sugarcane molasses in the absence of acetate. The addition of acetate at 0.5% (w/v, pH 4.5) inhibited the fermentation ability of the parent strain, but such an inhibition was not observed in the ethanol production process using ER HAA1-OP.

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