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ACS Synth Biol. 2015 Jun 19;4(6):707-13. doi: 10.1021/sb500364q. Epub 2015 Jan 27.

Simultaneous utilization of cellobiose, xylose, and acetic acid from lignocellulosic biomass for biofuel production by an engineered yeast platform.

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†Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, United States.
∥Departments of Molecular and Cell Biology and Chemistry, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, United States.
⊥Physical Biosciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, United States.


The inability of fermenting microorganisms to use mixed carbon components derived from lignocellulosic biomass is a major technical barrier that hinders the development of economically viable cellulosic biofuel production. In this study, we integrated the fermentation pathways of both hexose and pentose sugars and an acetic acid reduction pathway into one Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain for the first time using synthetic biology and metabolic engineering approaches. The engineered strain coutilized cellobiose, xylose, and acetic acid to produce ethanol with a substantially higher yield and productivity than the control strains, and the results showed the unique synergistic effects of pathway coexpression. The mixed substrate coutilization strategy is important for making complete and efficient use of cellulosic carbon and will contribute to the development of consolidated bioprocessing for cellulosic biofuel. The study also presents an innovative metabolic engineering approach whereby multiple substrate consumption pathways can be integrated in a synergistic way for enhanced bioconversion.


Saccharomyces cerevisiae; acetic acid; cellobiose; cellulosic biofuels; fermentation; xylose

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