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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Physiological Responses to Furfural and Hmf and the Link to Other Stress Pathways

item Gorsich, Steven
item Slininger, Patricia
item Liu, Zonglin

Submitted to: European Congress on Biotechnology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 24, 2005
Publication Date: August 20, 2005
Citation: Gorsich, S.W., Slininger, P.J., Liu, Z. 2005. Physiological responses to furfural and HMF and the link to other stress pathways [abstract]. European Congress on Biotechnology. Paper No. G.4.4.

Technical Abstract: The release of useable sugars from lignocellulose biomass for industrial fuel-ethanol fermentation is often facilitated by a weak acid hydrolysis step. As a consequence, inhibitors such as furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) are formed as degradation products of xylose and glucose, respectively. Moreover, the fermentative end-product of ethanol is also inhibitory. These and other inhibitors present an environment which elicits the expression of stress-related genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Recently, 65 S. cerevisiae genes have been identified as important in furfural stress tolerance. When furfural is present, yeast with these genes disrupted growth poorly compared to wild-type yeast. A sub-class of these genes is also important during oxidative stress, thus the response pathways for furfural and oxidative stresses may be similar. To investigate this link further, we analyzed stress-induced phenotypes such as ROS activity, DNA damage, and membrane damage in wild-type and mutant yeast exposed to furfural or HMF stress. Moreover, we investigated whether overexpression of this sub-class of genes would provide protection from furfural-induced stress and oxidative damage.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015