Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 581–597

Development and application of co-culture for ethanol production by co-fermentation of glucose and xylose: a systematic review


DOI: 10.1007/s10295-010-0894-3

Cite this article as:
Chen, Y. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol (2011) 38: 581. doi:10.1007/s10295-010-0894-3


This article reviews current co-culture systems for fermenting mixtures of glucose and xylose to ethanol. Thirty-five co-culture systems that ferment either synthetic glucose and xylose mixture or various biomass hydrolysates are examined. Strain combinations, fermentation modes and conditions, and fermentation performance for these co-culture systems are compared and discussed. It is noted that the combination of Pichia stipitis with Saccharomyces cerevisiae or its respiratory-deficient mutant is most commonly used. One of the best results for fermentation of glucose and xylose mixture is achieved by using co-culture of immobilized Zymomonas mobilis and free cells of P. stipitis, giving volumetric ethanol production of 1.277 g/l/h and ethanol yield of 0.49–0.50 g/g. The review discloses that, as a strategy for efficient conversion of glucose and xylose, co-culture fermentation for ethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass can increase ethanol yield and production rate, shorten fermentation time, and reduce process costs, and it is a promising technology although immature.


Ethanol productionCo-cultureCo-fermentationGlucoseXylose

Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA