Metabolic engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for lactose/whey fermentation

 Abstract

Lactose is an interesting carbon source for the production of several bio-products by
fermentation, primarily because it is the major component of cheese whey, the main by-
product of dairy activities. However, the microorganism more widely used in industrial
fermentation processes, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, does not have a lactose
metabolisation system. Therefore, several metabolic engineering approaches have been
used to construct lactose-consuming S. cerevisiae strains, particularly involving the
expression of the lactose genes of the phylogenetically related yeast Kluyveromyces
lactis, but also the lactose genes from Escherichia coli and Aspergillus niger, as
reviewed here. Due to the existing large amounts of whey, the production of bio-ethanol
from lactose by engineered S. cerevisiae has been considered as a possible route for
whey surplus. Emphasis is given in the present review on strain improvement for
lactose-to-ethanol bioprocesses, namely flocculent yeast strains for continuous high-
cell-density systems with enhanced ethanol productivity.

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Pages
164 - 171
doi
10.4161/bbug.1.3.10619
Type
Review
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Metabolic engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for lactose/whey fermentation