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Co-fermentation of cellobiose and xylose by mixed culture of recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae and kinetic modeling

Co-fermentation of cellobiose and xylose by mixed culture of recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae and kinetic modeling

Plos one 13(6): E0199104

Efficient conversion of cellulosic sugars in cellulosic hydrolysates is important for economically viable production of biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass, but the goal remains a critical challenge. The present study reports a new approach for simultaneous fermentation of cellobiose and xylose by using the co-culture consisting of recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae specialist strains. The co-culture system can provide competitive advantage of modularity compared to the single culture system and can be tuned to deal with fluctuations in feedstock composition to achieve robust and cost-effective biofuel production. This study characterized fermentation kinetics of the recombinant cellobiose-consuming S. cerevisiae strain EJ2, xylose-consuming S. cerevisiae strain SR8, and their co-culture. The motivation for kinetic modeling was to provide guidance and prediction of using the co-culture system for simultaneous fermentation of mixed sugars with adjustable biomass of each specialist strain under different substrate concentrations. The kinetic model for the co-culture system was developed based on the pure culture models and incorporated the effects of product inhibition, initial substrate concentration and inoculum size. The model simulations were validated by results from independent fermentation experiments under different substrate conditions, and good agreement was found between model predictions and experimental data from batch fermentation of cellobiose, xylose and their mixtures. Additionally, with the guidance of model prediction, simultaneous co-fermentation of 60 g/L cellobiose and 20 g/L xylose was achieved with the initial cell densities of 0.45 g dry cell weight /L for EJ2 and 0.9 g dry cell weight /L SR8. The results demonstrated that the kinetic modeling could be used to guide the design and optimization of yeast co-culture conditions for achieving simultaneous fermentation of cellobiose and xylose with improved ethanol productivity, which is critically important for robust and efficient renewable biofuel production from lignocellulosic biomass.

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Accession: 055196349

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PMID: 29940003

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0199104

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