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2017, DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.6b00167

Recycling carbon dioxide during xylose fermentation by engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae

ACS Synthetic Biology

Peng-Fei Xia, Guo-Chang Zhang, Berkley Walker, Seung-Oh Seo, Suryang Kwak, Jing-Jing Liu, Heejin Kim,‡ Donald R. Ort, Shu-Guang Wang, and Yong-Su Jin


Global climate change caused by the emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) is a grand challenge to humanity. To alleviate the trend, the consumption of fossil fuels needs to be largely reduced and alternative energy technologies capable of controlling GHG emissions are anticipated. In this study, we introduced a synthetic reductive pentose phosphate pathway (rPPP) into a xylose-fermenting Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain SR8 to achieve simultaneous lignocellulosic bioethanol production and carbon dioxide recycling. Specifically, ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase from Rhodospirillum rubrum and phosphoribulokinase from Spinacia oleracea were introduced into the SR8 strain. The resulting strain with the synthetic rPPP was able to exhibit a higher yield of ethanol and lower yields of byproducts (xylitol and glycerol) than a control strain. In addition, the reduced release of carbon dioxide by the engineered strain was observed during xylose fermentation, suggesting that the carbon dioxide generated by pyruvate decarboxylase was partially reassimilated through the synthetic rPPP. These results demonstrated that recycling of carbon dioxide from the ethanol fermentation pathway in yeast can be achieved during lignocellulosic bioethanol production through a synthetic carbon conservative metabolic pathway. This strategy has a great potential to alleviate GHG emissions during the production of second-generation ethanol.

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The Ort Lab is supported by many public and private partnerships, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, the UK Government's Department for International Development, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.

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