Biotechnol Biofuels 14 (1) 201 [2021-10-15; online 2021-10-15]
The limited tolerance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to inhibitors is a major challenge in second-generation bioethanol production, and our understanding of the molecular mechanisms providing tolerance to inhibitor-rich lignocellulosic hydrolysates is incomplete. Short-term adaptation of the yeast in the presence of dilute hydrolysate can improve its robustness and productivity during subsequent fermentation. We utilized RNA sequencing to investigate differential gene expression in the industrial yeast strain CR01 during short-term adaptation, mimicking industrial conditions for cell propagation. In this first transcriptomic study of short-term adaption of S. cerevisiae to lignocellulosic hydrolysate, we found that cultures respond by fine-tuned up- and down-regulation of a subset of general stress response genes. Furthermore, time-resolved RNA sequencing allowed for identification of genes that were differentially expressed at 2 or more sampling points, revealing the importance of oxidative stress response, thiamin and biotin biosynthesis. furan-aldehyde reductases and specific drug:H+ antiporters, as well as the down-regulation of certain transporter genes. These findings provide a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing short-term adaptation of S. cerevisiae to lignocellulosic hydrolysate, and suggest new genetic targets for improving fermentation robustness.