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Lebanon, NH, United States

The present invention provides a microorganism capable of fermenting arabmose to a desired product such as ethanol. In some embodiments, the organism is also capable of fermenting xylose. In some embodiments, the organism is capable of fermenting arabinose and xylose, and expresses one or more cellulases.


The present invention provides for novel metabolic pathways to detoxify biomass-derived acetate via metabolic conversion to ethanol, acetone, or isopropanol. More specifically, the invention provides for a recombinant microorganism comprising one or more native and/or heterologous enzymes that function in one or more first engineered metabolic pathways to achieve: (1) conversion of acetate to ethanol; (2) conversion of acetate to acetone; or (3) conversion of acetate to isopropanol; and one or more native and/or heterologous enzymes that function in one or more second engineered metabolic pathways to produce an electron donor used in the conversion of acetate to less inhibitory compounds; wherein the one or more native and/or heterologous enzymes is activated, upregulated, or downregulated.


Patent
Stellenbosch University and Mascoma Corporation | Date: 2014-02-12

The present invention is directed to a yeast strain, or strains, secreting a full suite, or any subset of that full suite, of enzymes to hydrolyze corn starch, corn fiber, lignocellulose, (including enzymes that hydrolyze linkages in cellulose, hemicellulose, and between lignin and carbohydrates) and to utilize pentose sugars (xylose and arabinose). The invention is also directed to the set of proteins that are well expressed in yeast for each category of enzymatic activity. The resulting strain, or strains can be used to hydrolyze starch and cellulose simultaneously. The resulting strain, or strains can be also metabolically engineered to produce less glycerol and uptake acetate. The resulting strain, or strains can also be used to produce ethanol from granular starch without liquefaction. The resulting strain, or strains, can be further used to reduce the amount of external enzyme needed to hydrolyze a biomass feedstock during an Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation (SSF) process, or to increase the yield of ethanol during SSF at current saccharolytic enzyme loadings. In addition, multiple enzymes of the present invention can be co-expressed in cells of the invention to provide synergistic digestive action on biomass feedstock. In some aspects, host cells expressing different heterologous saccharolytic enzymes can also be co-cultured together and used to produce ethanol from biomass feedstock.


The present invention provides for novel metabolic pathways to reduce or eliminate glycerol production and increase product formation. More specifically, the invention provides for a recombinant microorganism comprising a deletion of one or more native enzymes that function to produce glycerol and/or regulate glycerol synthesis and one or more native and/or heterologous enzymes that function in one or more engineered metabolic pathways to convert a carbohydrate source, such as lignocellulose, to a product, such as ethanol, wherein the one or more native and/or heterologous enzymes is activated, upregulated, or downregulated. The invention also provides for a recombinant microorganism comprising one or more heterologous enzymes that function to regulate glycerol synthesis and one or more native and/or heterologous enzymes that function in one or more engineered metabolic pathways to convert a carbohydrate source to ethanol, wherein said one or more native and/or heterologous enzymes is activated, upregulated or downregulated.


One aspect of the invention relates to a genetically modified thermophilic or mesophilic microorganism, wherein a first native gene is partially, substantially, or completely deleted, silenced, inactivated, or down-regulated, which first native gene encodes a first native enzyme involved in the metabolic production of an organic acid or a salt thereof, thereby increasing the native ability of said thermophilic or mesophilic microorganism to produce lactate or acetate as a fermentation product. In certain embodiments, the aforementioned microorganism further comprises a first non-native gene, which first non-native gene encodes a first non-native enzyme involved in the metabolic production of lactate or acetate. Another aspect of the invention relates to a process for converting lignocellulosic biomass to lactate or acetate, comprising contacting lignocellulosic biomass with a genetically modified thermophilic or mesophilic microorganism.

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