Xylome developing commercial biocatalyst for cellulosic ethanol

Xylome’s technology will enable existing grain ethanol producers to enter the second generation fuels and chemicals market with high-yield native, unconventional yeast biocatalysts. Spathaspora passalidarum displays a higher specific fermentation rate with xylose than it does with glucose.  It has a specific ethanol production rate of 0.153 g/g•h with a yield of 0.45 g/g when cultivated on 150 g/l xylose (1).  Moreover, it will simultaneously co-ferment xylose and cellobiose in the presence of up to 30 g/l of glucose and shows specific fermentation rates on xylose that are three-times higher than on glucose (2). The sequencing of S. passalidarum‘s genome (3) and the development of versatile genetic tools for manipulating this clade of yeasts enable Xylome to further develop S. passalidarum‘s metabolic capacities.

(1) Su, YK, Willis, LB and Jeffries, TW. Effects of aeration on growth, ethanol and polyol accumulation by Spathaspora passalidarum NRRL Y-27907 and Scheffersomyces stipitis NRRL Y-7124. Biotechnol Bioeng. 2014 Aug 28. doi: 10.1002/bit.25445. [Epub ahead of print].

(2) Long TM, Su YK, Headman J, Higbee A, Willis LB, Jeffries TW. Cofermentation of glucose, xylose, and cellobiose by the beetle-associated yeast Spathaspora passalidarum. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Aug;78(16):5492-500. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00374-12. Epub 2012 May 25.

(3) Wohlbach DJ, Kuo A, Sato TK, Potts KM, Salamov AA, Labutti KM, Sun H, Clum A, Pangilinan JL, Lindquist EA, Lucas S, Lapidus A, Jin M, Gunawan C, Balan V, Dale BE, Jeffries TW, Zinkel R, Barry KW, Grigoriev IV, Gasch AP. Comparative genomics of xylose-fermenting fungi for enhanced biofuel production. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 9;108(32):13212-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1103039108. Epub 2011 Jul 25.

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