Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 74, Issue 5, pp 937–953 | Cite as

Towards industrial pentose-fermenting yeast strains

  • Bärbel Hahn-HägerdalEmail author
  • Kaisa Karhumaa
  • César Fonseca
  • Isabel Spencer-Martins
  • Marie F. Gorwa-Grauslund


Production of bioethanol from forest and agricultural products requires a fermenting organism that converts all types of sugars in the raw material to ethanol in high yield and with a high rate. This review summarizes recent research aiming at developing industrial strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae with the ability to ferment all lignocellulose-derived sugars. The properties required from the industrial yeast strains are discussed in relation to four benchmarks: (1) process water economy, (2) inhibitor tolerance, (3) ethanol yield, and (4) specific ethanol productivity. Of particular importance is the tolerance of the fermenting organism to fermentation inhibitors formed during fractionation/pretreatment and hydrolysis of the raw material, which necessitates the use of robust industrial strain background. While numerous metabolic engineering strategies have been developed in laboratory yeast strains, only a few approaches have been realized in industrial strains. The fermentation performance of the existing industrial pentose-fermenting S. cerevisiae strains in lignocellulose hydrolysate is reviewed. Ethanol yields of more than 0.4 g ethanol/g sugar have been achieved with several xylose-fermenting industrial strains such as TMB 3400, TMB 3006, and 424A(LNF-ST), carrying the heterologous xylose utilization pathway consisting of xylose reductase and xylitol dehydrogenase, which demonstrates the potential of pentose fermentation in improving lignocellulosic ethanol production.


Fermentation Xylose Xylitol Ethanol Yield Ethanolic Fermentation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Swedish Energy Agency (STEM), Sweden, and the Fundação para a Ciência e a Technologia (FCT), Portugal.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bärbel Hahn-Hägerdal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kaisa Karhumaa
    • 1
  • César Fonseca
    • 2
  • Isabel Spencer-Martins
    • 2
  • Marie F. Gorwa-Grauslund
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied MicrobiologyLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Centro de Recursos Microbiológicos (CREM), Biotechnology Unit, Faculty of Sciences and TechnologyNew University of LisbonCaparicaPortugal

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