Submitted to: Great Lakes Regional American Chemical Society Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/2004
Publication Date: 10/20/2004
Citation: Wymer, N., Taylor, P., Saha, B.C., Sakakibara, Y. 2004. Using protein engineering and directed evolution for improved xylitol production [abstract]. Great Lakes Regional American Chemical Society Symposium. Paper No. 41. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Xylitol is a naturally occurring polyol that is becoming increasingly popular as a low-calorie sweetener that can be used in diabetic foods. Xylitol may also help to prevent tooth decay. Currently, xylitol is produced by catalytic hydrogenation of D-xylose obtained from birch tree pulp. Birch tree hydrolysate contains low concentrations of L-arabinose and other sugars that if present would cause major isolation problems. Because of the limited availability of birch tree hydrolysate, there is little room for reducing the overall cost of this process. Our laboratory is researching new methods to produce xylitol from less costly and more readily available materials using Escherichia coli fermentation. This presentation will outline our efforts to use several powerful selection assays to modify and improve existing enzymes to create a more economical xylitol fermentation process.