Browsing by Author "Van Rensburg, Eugene"
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- ItemComparison of constitutive and inducible β-fructofuranosidase production by recombinant Pichia pastoris in fed-batch culture using defined and semi-defined media(Elsevier, 2016) Anane, Emmanuel; Van Rensburg, Eugene; Gorgens, Johann F.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Short-chain fructooligosaccharides produced from sucrose by transfructosylation using β-fructofuranosidase (FFase), an industrially important enzyme, finds application in pre-biotics, sweeteners and confectionary products. Using recombinant Pichia pastoris, the influence of replacing the commonly-used Invitrogen® medium with a semi-defined medium for FFase production under the control of the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAP) and alcohol oxidase (AOX) promoters was investigated. Replacing the trace metals (PTM1) solution with yeast extract resulted in a 54.3% decrease in FFase volumetric activity under control of the AOX promoter, suggesting a distinct requirement for trace metals for recombinant protein synthesis during methanol induction, given that the biomass yield on methanol decreased by only 10%. The same medium adjustment had no effect on enzyme production under GAP promoter control, although AOX promoter control resulted in double the FFase volumetric activity compared to glycerol-fed cultures. Decreasing basal salts by half did not affect the cultures, but alleviated precipitation during sterilisation. Optimisation of the glycerol feed rate and dissolved oxygen tension in DO-stat fed-batch fermentations using the semi-defined medium resulted in 17% increase in volutmetric activity of FFase expressed under the GAP promoter. This study highlighted the influence of carbon source and trace metals on heterologous protein production by P. pastoris using constitutive and inducible promoters.
- ItemEthanol production potential from AFEX™ and steam-exploded sugarcane residues for sugarcane biorefineries(BioMed Central, 2018-05-04) Mokomele, Thapelo; Da Costa Sousa, Leonardo; Balan, Venkatesh; Van Rensburg, Eugene; Dale, Bruce E.; Görgens, Johann F.Background: Expanding biofuel markets are challenged by the need to meet future biofuel demands and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, while using domestically available feedstock sustainably. In the context of the sugar industry, exploiting under-utilized cane leaf matter (CLM) in addition to surplus sugarcane bagasse as supplementary feedstock for second-generation ethanol production has the potential to improve bioenergy yields per unit land. In this study, the ethanol yields and processing bottlenecks of ammonia fibre expansion (AFEX™) and steam explosion (StEx) as adopted technologies for pretreating sugarcane bagasse and CLM were experimentally measured and compared for the first time. Results: Ethanol yields between 249 and 256 kg Mg−1 raw dry biomass (RDM) were obtained with AFEX™-pretreated sugarcane bagasse and CLM after high solids loading enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation. In contrast, StEx-pretreated sugarcane bagasse and CLM resulted in substantially lower ethanol yields that ranged between 162 and 203 kg Mg−1 RDM. The ethanol yields from StEx-treated sugarcane residues were limited by the aggregated effect of sugar degradation during pretreatment, enzyme inhibition during enzymatic hydrolysis and microbial inhibition of S. cerevisiae 424A (LNH-ST) during fermentation. However, relatively high enzyme dosages (> 20 mg g−1 glucan) were required irrespective of pretreatment method to reach 75% carbohydrate conversion, even when optimal combinations of Cellic ® CTec3, Cellic ® HTec3 and Pectinex Ultra-SP were used. Ethanol yields per hectare sugarcane cultivation area were estimated at 4496 and 3416 L ha−1 for biorefineries using AFEX™- or StEx-treated sugarcane residues, respectively. Conclusions: AFEX™ proved to be a more effective pretreatment method for sugarcane residues relative to StEx due to the higher fermentable sugar recovery and enzymatic hydrolysate fermentability after high solids loading enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation by S. cerevisiae 424A (LNH-ST). The identification of auxiliary enzyme activities, adequate process integration and the use of robust xylose-fermenting ethanologens were identified as opportunities to further improve ethanol yields from AFEX™- and StEx-treated sugarcane residues.
- ItemExploring grape marc as trove for new thermotolerant and inhibitor-tolerant Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains for second-generation bioethanol production(BioMed Central, 2013-11) Favaro, Lorenzo; Basaglia, Marina; Trento, Alberto; Van Rensburg, Eugene; Garcia-Aparicio, Maria; Van Zyl, Willem H.; Casella, SergioBackground Robust yeasts with high inhibitor, temperature, and osmotic tolerance remain a crucial requirement for the sustainable production of lignocellulosic bioethanol. These stress factors are known to severely hinder culture growth and fermentation performance. Results Grape marc was selected as an extreme environment to search for innately robust yeasts because of its limited nutrients, exposure to solar radiation, temperature fluctuations, weak acid and ethanol content. Forty newly isolated Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains gave high ethanol yields at 40°C when inoculated in minimal media at high sugar concentrations of up to 200 g/l glucose. In addition, the isolates displayed distinct inhibitor tolerance in defined broth supplemented with increasing levels of single inhibitors or with a cocktail containing several inhibitory compounds. Both the fermentation ability and inhibitor resistance of these strains were greater than those of established industrial and commercial S. cerevisiae yeasts used as control strains in this study. Liquor from steam-pretreated sugarcane bagasse was used as a key selective condition during the isolation of robust yeasts for industrial ethanol production, thus simulating the industrial environment. The isolate Fm17 produced the highest ethanol concentration (43.4 g/l) from the hydrolysate, despite relatively high concentrations of weak acids, furans, and phenolics. This strain also exhibited a significantly greater conversion rate of inhibitory furaldehydes compared with the reference strain S. cerevisiae 27P. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing a strain of S. cerevisiae able to produce an ethanol yield equal to 89% of theoretical maximum yield in the presence of high concentrations of inhibitors from sugarcane bagasse. Conclusions This study showed that yeasts with high tolerance to multiple stress factors can be obtained from unconventional ecological niches. Grape marc appeared to be an unexplored and promising substrate for the isolation of S. cerevisiae strains showing enhanced inhibitor, temperature, and osmotic tolerance compared with established industrial strains. This integrated approach of selecting multiple resistant yeasts from a single source demonstrates the potential of obtaining yeasts that are able to withstand a number of fermentation-related stresses. The yeast strains isolated and selected in this study represent strong candidates for bioethanol production from lignocellulosic hydrolysates.
- ItemIncorporating anaerobic co-digestion of steam exploded or ammonia fiber expansion pretreated sugarcane residues with manure into a sugarcanebased bioenergy-livestock nexus(Elsevier, 2019) Mokomelea, Thapelo; Da Costa Sousa, Leonardo; Balan, Venkatesh; Van Rensburg, Eugene; Dale, Bruce E.; Gorgens, Johann F.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The co-digestion of pretreated sugarcane lignocelluloses with dairy cow manure (DCM) as a bioenergy production and waste management strategy, for intensive livestock farms located in sugarcane regions, was investigated. Ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) increased the nitrogen content and accelerated the biodegradability of sugarcane bagasse (SCB) and cane leaf matter (CLM) through the cleavage of lignin carbohydrate crosslinks, resulting in the highest specific methane yields (292–299 L CH4/kg VSadded), biogas methane content (57–59% v/v) and biodegradation rates, with or without co-digestion with DCM. To obtain comparable methane yields, untreated and steam exploded (StEx) SCB and CLM had to be co-digested with DCM, at mass ratios providing initial C/N ratios in the range of 18 to 35. Co-digestion with DCM improved the nutrient content of the solid digestates, providing digestates that could be used as biofertilizer to replace CLM that is removed from sugarcane fields during green harvesting.
- ItemSimultaneously improving xylose fermentation and tolerance to lignocellulosic inhibitors through evolutionary engineering of recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae harbouring xylose isomerase(BioMed Central, 2014-05) Smith, Justin; Van Rensburg, Eugene; Gorgens, Johann F.Background: Yeasts tolerant to toxic inhibitors from steam-pretreated lignocellulose with xylose co-fermentation capability represent an appealing approach for 2nd generation ethanol production. Whereas rational engineering, mutagenesis and evolutionary engineering are established techniques for either improved xylose utilisation or enhancing yeast tolerance, this report focuses on the simultaneous enhancement of these attributes through mutagenesis and evolutionary engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae harbouring xylose isomerase in anoxic chemostat culture using non-detoxified pretreatment liquor from triticale straw. Results: Following ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) mutagenesis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain D5A+ (ATCC 200062 strain platform), harbouring the xylose isomerase (XI) gene for pentose co-fermentation was grown in anoxic chemostat culture for 100 generations at a dilution rate of 0.10 h−1 in a medium consisting of 60% (v/v) non-detoxified hydrolysate liquor from steam-pretreated triticale straw, supplemented with 20 g/L xylose as carbon source. In semi-aerobic batch cultures in the same medium, the isolated strain D5A+H exhibited a slightly lower maximum specific growth rate (μmax = 0.12 ± 0.01 h−1) than strain TMB3400, with no ethanol production observed by the latter strain. Strain D5A+H also exhibited a shorter lag phase (4 h vs. 30 h) and complete removal of HMF, furfural and acetic acid from the fermentation broth within 24 h, reaching an ethanol concentration of 1.54 g/L at a yield (Yp/s) of 0.06 g/g xylose and a specific productivity of 2.08 g/gh. Evolutionary engineering profoundly affected the yeast metabolism, given that parental strain D5A+ exhibited an oxidative metabolism on xylose prior to strain development. Conclusions: Physiological adaptations confirm improvements in the resistance to and conversion of inhibitors from pretreatment liquor with simultaneous enhancement of xylose to ethanol fermentation. These data support the sequential application of random mutagenesis followed by continuous culture under simultaneous selective pressure from inhibitors and xylose as primary carbon source.