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Title: Engineering yeast consortia for surface-display of complex cellulosome structures

As our society marches toward a more technologically advanced future, energy and environmental sustainability are some of the most challenging problems we face today. Biomass is one of the most abundant renewable-feedstock for sustainable production of biofuels. However, the main technological obstacle to more widespread uses of this resource is the lack of low-cost technologies to overcome the recalcitrant nature of the cellulosic structure, especially the hydrolysis step on highly ordered celluloses. In this proposal, we successfully engineered several efficient and inexpensive whole-cell biocatalysts in an effort to produce economically compatible and sustainable biofuels, namely cellulosic ethanol. Our approach was to display of a highly efficient cellulolytic enzyme complex, named cellulosome, on the surface of a historical ethanol producer Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the simultaneous and synergistic saccharification and fermentation of cellulose to ethanol. We first demonstrated the feasibility of assembling a mini-cellulosome by incubating E. coli lysates expressing three different cellulases. Resting cells displaying mini-cellulosomes produced 4-fold more ethanol from phosphoric acid-swollen cellulose (PASC) than cultures with only added enzymes. The flexibility to assemble the mini-cellulosome structure was further demonstrated using a synthetic yeast consortium through intracellular complementation. Direct ethanol production from PASC was demonstrated with resting cell cultures. Tomore » create a microorganism suitable for a more cost-effective process, called consolidated bioprocessing (CBP), a synthetic consortium capable of displaying mini-cellulosomes on the cell surface via intercellular complementation was created. To further improve the efficiency, a new adaptive strategy of employing anchoring and adaptor scaffoldins to amplify the number of enzymatic subunits was developed, resulting in the creation of an artificial tetravalent cellulosome on the yeast surface and a significant improvement in cellulosic ethanol production. Although this adaptive strategy is ideal for assembling more complex cellulosome for large-scale production of cellulosic ethanol, a substantially larger number of enzymes (up to 10 to 12) is needed to better mimic the natural cellulosome structures for practical usage of the technology.« less
  1. University of Delaware
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
University of California, Riverside
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Contributing Orgs:
University of Delaware and University of California, Riverside
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS Cellulosome