Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains performing similarly during fermentation of lignocellulosic hydrolysates show pronounced differences in transcriptional stress responses

Elena Cámara, Maurizio Mormino, Verena Siewers, Yvonne Nygård (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Improving our understanding of the transcriptional changes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae during fermentation of lignocellulosic hydrolysates is crucial for the creation of more efficient strains to be used in biorefineries. We performed RNA sequencing of a CEN.PK laboratory strain, two industrial strains (KE6-12 and Ethanol Red), and two wild-type isolates of the LBCM collection when cultivated anaerobically in wheat straw hydrolysate. Many of the differently expressed genes identified among the strains have previously been reported to be important for tolerance to lignocellulosic hydrolysates or inhibitors therein. Our study demonstrates that stress responses typically identified during aerobic conditions such as glutathione metabolism, osmotolerance, and detoxification processes also are important for anaerobic processes. Overall, the transcriptomic responses were largely strain dependent, and we focused our study on similarities and differences in the transcriptomes of the LBCM strains. The expression of sugar transporter-encoding genes was higher in LBCM31 compared with LBCM109 that showed high expression of genes involved in iron metabolism and genes promoting the accumulation of sphingolipids, phospholipids, and ergosterol. These results highlight different evolutionary adaptations enabling S. cerevisiae to strive in lignocellulosic hydrolysates and suggest novel gene targets for improving fermentation performance and robustness. IMPORTANCE The need for sustainable alternatives to oil-based production of biochemicals and biofuels is undisputable. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the most commonly used industrial fermentation workhorse. The fermentation of lignocellulosic hydrolysates, second-generation biomass unsuited for food and feed, is still hampered by lowered productivities as the raw material is inhibitory for the cells. In order to map the genetic responses of different S. cerevisiae strains, we performed RNA sequencing of a CEN.PK laboratory strain, two industrial strains (KE6-12 and Ethanol Red), and two wild-type isolates of the LBCM collection when cultivated anaerobically in wheat straw hydrolysate. While the response to inhibitors of S. cerevisiae has been studied earlier, this has in previous studies been done in aerobic conditions. The transcriptomic analysis highlights different evolutionary adaptations among the different S. cerevisiae strains and suggests novel gene targets for improving fermentation performance and robustness.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume90
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • industrial yeast strains
  • inhibitor stress
  • RNA sequencing
  • tolerance
  • wild-type isolates

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