Physiological and Molecular Characterization of Yeast Cultures Pre-Adapted for Fermentation of Lignocellulosic Hydrolysate

João R.M. Almeida, Magnus Wiman, Dominik Heer, Daniel P. Brink, Uwe Sauer, Bärbel Hahn-Hägerdal, Gunnar Lidén, Marie F. Gorwa-Grauslund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Economically feasible bioethanol process from lignocellulose requires efficient fermentation by yeast of all sugars present in the hydrolysate. However, when exposed to lignocellulosic hydrolysate, Saccharomyces cerevisiae is challenged with a variety of inhibitors that reduce yeast viability, growth, and fermentation rate, and in addition damage cellular structures. In order to evaluate the capability of S. cerevisiae to adapt and respond to lignocellulosic hydrolysates, the physiological effect of cultivating yeast in the spruce hydrolysate was comprehensively studied by assessment of yeast performance in simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF), measurement of furaldehyde reduction activity, assessment of conversion of phenolic compounds and genome-wide transcription analysis. The yeast cultivated in spruce hydrolysate developed a rapid adaptive response to lignocellulosic hydrolysate, which significantly improved its fermentation performance in subsequent SSF experiments. The adaptation was shown to involve the induction of NADPH-dependent aldehyde reductases and conversion of phenolic compounds during the fed-batch cultivation. These properties were correlated to the expression of several genes encoding oxidoreductases, notably AAD4, ADH6, OYE2/3, and YML131w. The other most significant transcriptional changes involved genes involved in transport mechanisms, such as YHK8, FLR1, or ATR1. A large set of genes were found to be associated with transcription factors (TFs) involved in stress response (Msn2p, Msn4p, Yap1p) but also cell growth and division (Gcr4p, Ste12p, Sok2p), and these TFs were most likely controlling the response at the post-transcriptional level.

Original languageEnglish
Article number72
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Microbiology
  • Bioprocess Technology

Free keywords

  • furaldehydes
  • industrial microbiology
  • inhibitors
  • lignocellulosic hydrolysate
  • microarray
  • phenolic compounds
  • S. cerevisiae
  • short-term adaptation
  • tolerance
  • transcriptomics


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