Submitted to: Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 22, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Yeasts are of considerable biotechnological interest for the conversion of sugars to ethyl alcohol for use as a motor fuel. Until recently, there were no known yeasts that fermented L-arabinose to ethyl alcohol. L- Arabinose is a pentose sugar commonly found in low-value plant residues (biomass). A survey of yeasts in the ARS Culture Collection (NRRL) detected a strain that converted L-arabinose to ethyl alcohol. The yeast is described as a new species of Candida, and its unique status was verified through comparison with a nucleic acid (genetic material) database comprised of species diagnostic gene sequences.
Technical Abstract: Candida arabinofermentans (type strain NRRL YB-2248, CBS 8468), a new yeast that ferments the pentose L-arabinose, is described. The three known strains of this new species were isolated from insect frass of pine and larch trees in the U.S. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences from the D1/D2 domain of large subunit (26S) ribosomal DNA places C. arabinofermentans among the methanol-assimilating yeasts and most closely related to Candida ovalis. Strains of the new species produce 0.7-1.9 g/l ethanol from L-arabinose.