Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 683–691 | Cite as

Enhanced ethanol fermentation by engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains with high spermidine contents

  • Sun-Ki Kim
  • Jung-Hyun Jo
  • Yong-Su Jin
  • Jin-Ho SeoEmail author
Research Paper


Construction of robust and efficient yeast strains is a prerequisite for commercializing a biofuel production process. We have demonstrated that high intracellular spermidine (SPD) contents in Saccharomyces cerevisiae can lead to improved tolerance against various fermentation inhibitors, including furan derivatives and acetic acid. In this study, we examined the potential applicability of the S. cerevisiae strains with high SPD contents under two cases of ethanol fermentation: glucose fermentation in repeated-batch fermentations and xylose fermentation in the presence of fermentation inhibitors. During the sixteen times of repeated-batch fermentations using glucose as a sole carbon source, the S. cerevisiae strains with high SPD contents maintained higher cell viability and ethanol productivities than a control strain with lower SPD contents. Specifically, at the sixteenth fermentation, the ethanol productivity of a S. cerevisiae strain with twofold higher SPD content was 31% higher than that of the control strain. When the SPD content was elevated in an engineered S. cerevisiae capable of fermenting xylose, the resulting S. cerevisiae strain exhibited much 40–50% higher ethanol productivities than the control strain during the fermentations of synthetic hydrolysate containing high concentrations of fermentation inhibitors. These results suggest that the strain engineering strategy to increase SPD content is broadly applicable for engineering yeast strains for robust and efficient production of ethanol.


Biofuels Spermidine Xylose Repeated-batch fermentation Inhibitor tolerance 



This research was supported by The Advanced Biomass R&D Center (ABC) of Korea Grant (2011–0031359) and The National Research Foundation of Korea Grant (2013M1A2A2072600) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and Technology.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sun-Ki Kim
    • 1
  • Jung-Hyun Jo
    • 1
  • Yong-Su Jin
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jin-Ho Seo
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Biotechnology and Center for Food and BioconvergenceSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of Food Science and Human NutritionUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  3. 3.Institute for Genomic BiologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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