INTACT

Integral Engineering of Acetic Acid Tolerance in Yeast

acronym:  INTACT

Results of INTACT
Presentation
(click here)

Project coordinator
- Dr. Ton van Maris - Delft University of Technology - The Netherlands
Project leaders
- Prof. Isabel Sá-Correia - Technical University of Lisbon - Portugal
- Prof. Elke Nevoigt - Jacobs University Bremen - Germany
- Prof. Jaoquín Ariño - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona - Spain

Carbon efficiency and food security dictate that a substantial replacement of current petrochemical production by industrial biotechnology should be based on crude plant biomass hydrolysates as feedstocks rather than on refined, food-grade carbohydrates. The presence of acetylated polymers in these crude hydrolysates implies that acetic acid tolerance of industrial microorganisms is and will remain a key issue in the implementation of sustainable, non-food feedstocks in industrial biotechnology.
The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, one of the most important microorganisms in industrial production and in metabolic engineering, already has an innate degree of tolerance to weak organic acids and low pH. However, better understanding and improvement of the tolerance to acetic acid is essential for development, diversification and intensification of yeast-based bioprocesses in industrial biotechnology. Finding solutions to this problem is urgent, since the first full-scale factories for yeast-based production processes from lignocellulosic feedstocks (the first products will be biofuels) are anticipated within the next 5 years. Our highly complementary consortium will integrate classical genetic mapping, comparative genomics, genome-wide expression analysis, evolutionary engineering and global transcription machinery engineering with targeted genetic modification, with the aim to understand and rationally improve acetic tolerance in S. cerevisiae.

Key deliverables from the project will include:

  • Target genes for functional analysis and metabolic engineering through the integration of classical genetic mapping and comparative genomics
  • Selection procedures to improve acetic acid tolerance
  • Metabolic engineering strategies to rationally improve acetic acid tolerance
  • S. cerevisiae strains with improved acetic acid tolerance
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