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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Renewable Product Technology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #351296

Research Project: New Biobased Products and Improved Biochemical Processes for the Biorefining Industry

Location: Renewable Product Technology Research

Title: Overcoming bacterial contamination of fuel ethanol fermentations -- alterntives to antibiotics

item Rich, Joseph
item Bischoff, Kenneth
item Leathers, Timothy

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/22/2018
Publication Date: 5/5/2018
Citation: Rich, J.O., Bischoff, K.M., Leathers, T.D. 2018. Overcoming bacterial contamination of fuel ethanol fermentations -- alterntives to antibiotics [abstract]. Corn Utilization & Technology Conference. 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Fuel ethanol fermentations are not performed under aseptic conditions and microbial contamination reduces yields and can lead to costly "stuck fermentations". Antibiotics are commonly used to combat contaminants, but these may persist in the distillers grains co-product. Among contaminants, it is known that certain strains of lactic acid bacteria are capable of causing stuck fermentations, while other strains appear to be harmless. However, it was not previously known whether or how these strains interact with one another. We screened more than 500 strains of lactic acid bacteria that were previously considered to be harmless in a model system in combination with strains that cause stuck fermentations. Among these harmless strains, a group of beneficial strains was identified that restored ethanol production to near normal levels. Such beneficial strains may serve as an alternative approach to the use of antibiotics in fuel ethanol production. We will also describe lytic enzymes from bacterial viruses (bacteriophage) that have potential to resolve harmful bacterial contamination of fuel ethanol fermentations.