Ethanol Tolerant Yeast for Improved Production of Ethanol from Biomass


Ethanol production from cellulosic biomass can make a significant contribution toward decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels. However the fermentation of biomass can be problematic. One bottleneck in this process is the toxicity of ethanol to microbes such as the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. UW–Madison researchers have developed a method of using the Elongase I (ELO1) gene to impart ethanol tolerance to yeast. ELO1 is an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids in yeast. This gene could be incorporated into an industrial yeast strain to increase the amount of ethanol produced from biomass. Applications: 1) Production of ethanol from biomass 2) Alcohol production 3) Manufacture of frozen bread dough


1) Makes yeast less sensitive to ethanol 2) Increased ethanol tolerance allows more ethanol to be produced per batch decreasing costs and energy consumption 3) Could be incorporated into an industrial fermentation yeast strain

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