Conversion of lignin-derived phenolic compounds by Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Exhibit/Poster Hall, lower level (Hilton Clearwater Beach)
Peter Temitope Adeboye1, Maurizio Bettiga1 and Lisbeth Olsson2, (1)Industrial Biotechnology, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, (2)Chemical and Biological Engineering - Industrial Biotechnology, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
Lignin breakdown during biomass pretreatment releases a wide array of phenolic compounds in lignocellulose hydrolysates. Phenolic compounds, together with organic acids and furaldehydes are known to be inhibitors of microbial fermentation, thus limiting the efficient bioconversion of lignocellulose biomass.

The goal of our study is to improve S. cerevisiae tolerance to phenolic compounds from lignocellulose hydrolysates and investigate its conversion capacities. In particular, we aimed i) to establish a correlation between the phenolic compounds structure and the effect on yeast growth, and ii) to investigate the conversion/detoxification products of selected representative compounds in order to provide strain engineering strategies for enhanced phenolics conversion.

First, the effect on S. cerevisiae growth of 13 different phenolic compounds commonly found in lignocellulose hydrolysates was characterized. The compounds could be grouped in three clusters, according to their effect on lag phase duration, specific growth rate and cell density. Next, coniferyl aldehyde, p-coumaric acid and ferulic acid were chosen as representative compounds and their conversion product by S. cerevisiae in aerobic culture in bioreactor were identified and followed throughout the fermentation time.

Understanding the effect of different phenolics on yeast and their conversion/ detoxification pathways is the first step not only in strain engineering for enhanced robustness, but also for designing new biorefinery concepts, where the bioconversion of lignin-derived aromatics could potentially be the source of new bio-based chemicals.