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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GENOMICS AND ENGINEERING OF STRESS TOLERANT MICROBES FOR LOWER COST PRODUCTION OF ETHANOL FROM LIGNOCELLULOSE

Location: Bioenergy Research Unit

Title: Molecular mechanisms of ethanol tolerance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Authors
item Ma, Menggen -
item Liu, Zonglin

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 10, 2011
Publication Date: July 17, 2012
Citation: Ma, M., Liu, Z. 2012. Molecular mechanisms of ethanol tolerance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In: Liu, Z.L., editor. Microbial Stress Tolerance for Biofuels: Systems Biology. Microbiology Monographs 22. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag. p. 77-115.

Technical Abstract: The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a superb ethanol producer, yet sensitive to ethanol at higher concentrations especially under high gravity or very high gravity fermentation conditions. Although significant efforts have been made to study ethanol-stress response in past decades, molecular mechanisms of ethanol tolerance are not well known. With developments of genome sequencing and genomic technologies, our understanding of yeast biology has been revolutionarily advanced. Additional evidence of ethanol tolerance has been discovered involving numerous genes with a variety of functions, multiple loci, and complex interactions as well as signal transduction pathways and regulatory networks. Genetic manipulation of one or a few genes is unable to achieve desirable phenotype for multiple stress tolerance. Transcription dynamics and profiling studies of key gene sets such as heat shock proteins provided new insight into tolerance mechanisms. A transient gene expression response or a stress-response to ethanol does not necessarily lead to ethanol-tolerant phenotype in yeast. Reprogrammed pathways and interactions of cofactor regeneration and redox balance revealed by time-course studies suggest constitutive gene expression response is important for ethanol tolerance. Fine-tuned expression of key transcription factor genes which regulate numerous genes associated with ethanol stress may achieve desirable phenotype and avoid side effect to cell growth at the same time.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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