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Ethanol production improvement driven by genome-scale metabolic modeling and sensitivity analysis in Scheffersomyces stipitis.

ABSTRACT

The yeast Scheffersomyces stipitis naturally produces ethanol from xylose, however reaching high ethanol yields is strongly dependent on aeration conditions. It has been reported that changes in the availability of NAD(H/+) cofactors can improve fermentation in some microorganisms. In this work genome-scale metabolic modeling and phenotypic phase plane analysis were used to characterize metabolic response on a range of uptake rates. Sensitivity analysis was used to assess the effect of ARC on ethanol production indicating that modifying ARC by inhibiting the respiratory chain ethanol production can be improved. It was shown experimentally in batch culture using Rotenone as an inhibitor of the mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase complex I (CINADH), increasing ethanol yield by 18%. Furthermore, trajectories for uptakes rates, specific productivity and specific growth rate were determined by modeling the batch culture, to calculate ARC associated to the addition of CINADH inhibitor. Results showed that the increment in ethanol production via respiratory inhibition is due to excess in ARC, which generates an increase in ethanol production. Thus ethanol production improvement could be predicted by a change in ARC.