Characterization of a Recombinant Flocculent Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strain That Co-Ferments Glucose and Xylose: II. Influence of pH and Acetic Acid on Ethanol Production
The inhibitory effects of pH and acetic acid on the co-fermentation of glucose and xylose in complex medium by recombinant flocculent Saccharomyces cerevisiae MA-R4 were evaluated. In the absence of acetic acid, the fermentation performance of strain MA-R4 was similar between pH 4.0–6.0, but was negatively affected at pH 2.5. The addition of acetic acid to batch cultures resulted in negligible inhibition of several fermentation parameters at pH 6.0, whereas the interactive inhibition of pH and acetic acid on the maximum cell and ethanol concentrations, and rates of sugar consumption and ethanol production were observed at pH levels below 5.4. The inhibitory effect of acetic acid was particularly marked for the consumption rate of xylose, as compared with that of glucose. With increasing initial acetic acid concentration, the ethanol yield slightly increased at pH 5.4 and 6.0, but decreased at pH values lower than 4.7. Notably, ethanol production was nearly completely inhibited under low pH (4.0) and high acetic acid (150–200 mM) conditions. Together, these results indicate that the inhibitory effects of acetic acid and pH on ethanol fermentation by MA-R4 are highly synergistic, although the inhibition can be reduced by increasing the medium pH.