The efficient conversion of both glucose and xylose in the presence of lignocellulose-derived inhibitors is one of the main factors required for a cost-effective lignocellulosic bioethanol production. The development of robust, xylose-fermenting microorganisms is therefore a crucial aspect towards reaching such a goal. In a previous project, we successfully isolated, characterized and sequenced the genome of the natural xylose-fermenting yeast Candida intermedia. Our results reveal an enriched xylose utilizing system (number of transporters and enzymes related to the pathway) that allows C. intermedia to assimilate xylose with faster rates than other related species. In the present project, we will further investigate C. intermedia with the aim of elucidating the complete metabolic and physiological mechanisms that enable its fast xylose assimilation. Further, these features will be incorporated into Saccharomyces cerevisiae to improve xylose uptake and fermentation rates.
The project is closed: 31/12/2017