Expression of the Aspergillus niger glucose oxidase gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Malherbe, Daniel Francois (2002-12)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The winemaking process constitutes a unique ecological niche that involves the interaction of yeasts, lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid bacteria. Saccharomyces cerevisiae has established its importance as a wine yeast and also proven itself as a reliable starter culture organism. Its primary role is to convert the grape sugar into alcohol and, secondly, its metabolic activities result in the production of higher alcohols, fatty acids and esters, which are important flavour and aroma compounds that are essential for consistent and predictable wine quality. There is a growing consumer demand for wine containing lower levels of alcohol and chemical preservatives. Glucose oxidase (GOX) has received considerable research interest regarding its potential application in the wine industry to reduce alcohol levels and as a biocontrol agent. Several physical processes are used for the removal or reduction of alcohol in wine and some of them are sometimes used in combination. These processes tend to involve expensive equipment and can be intensive from a processing point of view. An alternative approach was introduced with the concept of treating grape must with GOX to reduce the glucose content of the must, and therefore produce a wine with a reduced alcohol content after fermentation. Due to the demanding nature of modern winemaking practices and sophisticated wine markets, there is an ever-growing quest for specialised wine yeast strains possessing a wide range of optimised, improved or novel oenological properties. The first and main objective of this study was to genetically engineer wine yeasts to produce wine with a reduced alcohol content. In order to do this, the structural glucose oxidase (gox) gene of Aspergillus niger was cloned into an integration vector (Ylp5) containing the yeast mating pheromone a-factor secretion signal (MFa1 s) and the phosphoglycerate kinase 1 gene promoter and terminator (PGK1PT). This PGK1p-MFa1sgox- PGKh gene cassette (designated GOX1) was introduced into a laboratory strain of S. cerevisiae (~1278). Results obtained indicated the production of biologically active glucose oxidase and showed that it is secreted into the culture medium. This would mean that the enzyme will convert the glucose to gluconic acid in the medium before the yeast cells are able to metabolise the glucose to ethanol. Microvinifications performed with Chardonnay grapes showed that the laboratory yeast starter cultures transformed with GOX1 were indeed able to reduce the total amount of alcohol in the finished product. The second objective of this study involved the potential application of GOX as a biocontrol agent. Screening was performed for wine spoilage microorganisms, such as acetic acid bacteria and lactic acid bacteria, using plate assays. The wine spoilage microorganisms tested formed different sized inhibition zones, indicating varying degrees of inhibition. The inhibition of some of the wine spoilage microorganisms was confirmed under a scanning electron microscope. The total collapse of the bacterial cell wáll could be seen and might be explained by the fact that a final product of the GOX enzymatic reaction is hydrogen peroxide (H202). The produced H202 leads to hyperbaric oxygen toxicity, a result of the peroxidation of the membrane lipid, and a strong oxidising effect on the bacterial cell, which is the cause of the destruction of basic molecular structures, such as nucleic acids and cell proteins. In this exciting age of molecular yeast genetics and modern biotechnology, this study could pave the way for the development of wine yeast starter culture strains for the production of wine with a lower alcohol content and reduced levels of chemical preservatives, such as sulphur dioxide. The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) within the wine industry is a limiting factor at present and credible means must be found to effectively address the concerns of traditionalists within the wine industry and the negative overreaction by some consumer groups. There is a vast potential benefit to the wine consumer and industry alike and the first recombinant wine products therefore should unmistakably demonstrate safe products free of potentially harmful compounds, and have organoleptic, hygienic and economic advantages for both the wine producer and consumer.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die wynmaakproses behels 'n ekologiese interaksie tussen gis, asynsuurbakterieë en melksuurbakterieë. Saccharomyces cerevisiae het homself alreeds bewys as 'n belangrike en betroubare inisiëringsgis in wyn. Die hoofdoel van die gis is om druifsuikers na etanol om te skakel. Tweedens lei die gis se metaboliese aktiwiteite tot die produksie van hoër alkohole, vetsure en esters, wat tot die konsekwente voorspelbare smaak en aromaverbindings in herhaalbare kwaliteit wyn bydra. Daar is 'n toenemende aanvraag na wyne met 'n laer alkoholinhoud en minder preserveermiddels. Glukoseoksidase (GOX) het heelwat navorsing in die wynindustrie uitgelok omdat dit gebruik kan word om die alkoholinhoud in wyn te verlaag, asook as 'n biologiese beheermiddel kan funksioneer. Daar is reeds sekere fisiese prosesse wat gebruik kan word om die alkohol in wyn te verwyder of te verminder. Sommige van hierdie prosesse word soms in kombinasie gebruik. Die nadeel is egter dat hierdie prosesse baie duur en intensief is, veral ten opsigte van prosessering. 'n Alternatief om die alkoholinhoud van wyn te verlaag, het egter na vore gekom toe daar voorgestel is om die mos met GOX te behandel. As gevolg van die veeleisende aard van moderne wynmaakpraktyke en gesofistikeerde wynmarkte, is daar 'n nimmereindigende soektog na meer gespesialiseerde wyngisrasse wat 'n wye reeks van geoptimiseerde en verbeterde, en selfs unieke, wynkundige einskappe bevat. Die hoofdoelwit van hierdie navorsingsprojek behels die genetiese manipulasie van 'n gisras sodat dit in staat is om wyn met 'n laer alkoholinhoud te produseer. Om hierdie doel te verwesentlik, is die strukturele glukoseoksidasegeen (gox) van Aspergillus niger in 'n integreringsvektor gekloneer. Transkripsie-inisiëring en -terminering is deur fosfogliseraatkinase-1-promotor en -termineerder (PGK1PT) bewerkstellig. Die a-spesifieke gisferomoon-a-faktor (MFa1 s) is gebruik om die uitskeiding van GOX uit die gis te bewerkstellig. Saam vorm bogenoemde die PGK1p-MFals-gox-PGKh-geenkasset, wat as GOX1 bekend is. GOX1 is na 'n labaratoriumras van S. cerevisiae (:E1278) getransformeer. Resultate dui aan dat biologies aktiewe GOX geproduseer en uitgeskei word. Dit beteken dat van die glukose in die medium reeds na glukoonsuur omgesit sal word voordat die gis dit kan begin benut en alkohol produseer. Kleinskaalse wynmaakprosesse wat met Chardonnay-druiwe en GOX-produserende labaratoriumgis uitgevoer is, het inderdaad tot laer alkoholpersentasies gelei. Die tweede doelwit van die navorsingsprojek was om te bepaal of GOX die potensiaal as biologiese beheermiddel het. Daar is ondersoek ingestel na sekere wynbederfsorganismes soos asynsuur- en melksuurbakterieë en die inhibisie van die organismes is op agarplate gemonitor. Verskillende grade van inhibisie, soos die grootte van die inhibisiesone, was sigbaar vir die verskillende wynbederfsorganismes wat getoets is. Die inhibiese van sekere wynbederfsorganismes is ook met behulp van 'n skandeerelektronmikroskoop bevestig. Die totale ineenstorting van die bakteriële selwand was sigbaar en kan verklaar word deur die teenwoordigheid van waterstofperoksied (H202). Laasgenoemde is 'n byproduk van die laaste metaboliese reaksie en staan as 'n antimikrobiese middel bekend. Die byproduk (H202) gee aanleiding tot hiperbariese suurstoftoksisiteit, 'n gevolg van die peroksidasie van membraanlipiede en 'n sterk oksiderende effek t.o.v. die bakteriële selwand. Dit lei tot die vernietiging van die basiese molekulêre strukture, soos die nukleïensure en selproteïene. Tydens hierdie opwindende era van molekulêre gisgenetika en biotegnologie kan hierdie navorsing die fondament lê vir die ontwikkeling van 'n wyngiskultuur wat in staat is om wyn met 'n laer alkoholinhoud te produseer. Die gebruik van geneties gemanupileerde organismes (GMO's) in die wynbedryf is egter nog 'n beperkende faktor. 'n Geloofwaardige manier moet dus gevind word om die bekommernisse van tradisionaliste, asook die negatiewe oorreaksies van sommige verbruikers, aan te spreek en hok te slaan. Daar is groot potensiaal en voordele vir beide die verbruiker en industrie. Dit is dus belangrik dat die eerste rekombinante wynprodukte wat die mark betree, veilig en vry van potensieel skadelike verbindings is, asook organoleptiese, higiëniese en ekonomiese voordele toon te opsigte van beide die wynprodusent en gebruiker.

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