"We have sequenced and assembled the complete genome of Pichia stipitis, a native xylose-fermenting yeast," says Thomas Jeffries, research microbiologist at FPL and a professor of bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The results of this research project will be published in the scientific journal Nature Biotechnology in April, and the report is currently available online at http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/vaop/ncurrent/index.html.
The sequencing of P. stipitis marks an important step toward the efficient production of biofuels because the yeast can efficiently ferment xylose, a main component of plant lignocellulose. Xylose fermentation is vital to economically converting plant biomass to fuels and chemicals such as ethanol.
"A better understanding of the genetic structure of this yeast allows us to determine how specific genes are used in fermentation and then reengineer them to perform other desired functions," says Jeffries.
For example, Jeffries explains that the fermentation of both glucose and xylose is critical to efficient bioconversion because xylose is so abundant in hardwoods and agricultural residues. However, when glucose is present, the fermentation of xylose by P. stipitis is repressed. Using their knowledge of the genetic makeup of the yeast, researchers will be able to alter the expression of the genes so that both glucose and xylose are fermented simultaneously. This will increase the efficiency, and improve the economic viability, of the process.
The U.S. Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory, with its mission to conserve and extend the country's wood resources, is a partner in the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative, an effort launched by the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences to accelerate the development of bioenergy resources. FPL scientists have been studying P. stipitis for 20 years and in that time have isolated and characterized several genes, developed improved strains, and recently licensed technology to a biotech firm for commercial development.
"We are very proud of Tom's research and the breakthroughs he and his colleagues continue to make," says FPL Directory Chris Risbrudt. "Publication in a journal of such importance to the scientific community demonstrates the capability of FPL's researchers and our status as a world-class facility."
"The genetic blueprint reported in this paper will be at the foundation of new biofuels technology that will be developed under the auspices of the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative," reports Tim Donohue, professor of bacteriology.
"It will have benefits in making ethanol production from plant sugars more efficient in the short term and it is likely to help develop long-term bioenergy solutions that help Wisconsin assume a position of leadership in the rapidly growing biofuels economy."
Thomas Jeffries | EurekAlert!
A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich
New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine