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Lindquist M.R.,National United University | Lopez-Nunez J.C.,National Coffee Research Center Cenicafe | Jones M.A.,Illinois State University | Cox E.J.,National United University | And 14 more authors.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology | Year: 2015

Increased interest in sustainable production of renewable diesel and other valuable bioproducts is redoubling efforts to improve economic feasibility of microbial-based oil production. Yarrowia lipolytica is capable of employing a wide variety of substrates to produce oil and valuable co-products. We irradiated Y. lipolytica NRRL YB-567 with UV-C to enhance ammonia (for fertilizer) and lipid (for biodiesel) production on low-cost protein and carbohydrate substrates. The resulting strains were screened for ammonia and oil production using color intensity of indicators on plate assays. Seven mutant strains were selected (based on ammonia assay) and further evaluated for growth rate, ammonia and oil production, soluble protein content, and morphology when grown on liver infusion medium (without sugars), and for growth on various substrates. Strains were identified among these mutants that had a faster doubling time, produced higher maximum ammonia levels (enzyme assay) and more oil (Sudan Black assay), and had higher maximum soluble protein levels (Bradford assay) than wild type. When grown on plates with substrates of interest, all mutant strains showed similar results aerobically to wild-type strain. The mutant strain with the highest oil production and the fastest doubling time was evaluated on coffee waste medium. On this medium, the strain produced 0.12 g/L ammonia and 0.20 g/L 2-phenylethanol, a valuable fragrance/flavoring, in addition to acylglycerols (oil) containing predominantly C16 and C18 residues. These mutant strains will be investigated further for potential application in commercial biodiesel production. © 2015, The Author(s).

Molina D.,National Coffee Research Center Cenicafe | Zamora H.,National University of Colombia | Blanco-Labra A.,Research Center Estudios Avanzados
Phytochemistry | Year: 2010

The coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari), is one of the most devastating coffee pests (Coffea arabica L.) worldwide. Digestion in the midgut of H. hampei is facilitated by aspartic proteases. This is the first report of an aspartic protease inhibitor from Lupinus bogotensis. The L. bogotensis aspartic protease inhibitor (LbAPI) exhibited a molecular mass of 12.84 kDa, as determined by MALDI-TOF, and consists of a single polypeptide chain with an isoelectric point of 4.5. In thermal activity experiments, stability was retained at pH 2.5 after heating the protein at 70 °C for 30 min, but was unstable at 100 °C. The protein was also stable over a broad range of pH, from 2 to 11, at 30 °C. In in vitro assays, LbAPI was highly effective against aspartic proteases from H. hampei guts with a half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 2.9 μg. LbAPI inhibits pepsin in a stoichiometric ratio of 1:1. LbAPI inhibition of pepsin was competitive, with a Ki of 3.1 μM, using hemoglobin as substrate. Its amino-terminal sequence had 76% homology with the seed storage proteins vicilin and β-conglutin. The homology of LbAPI to vicilins from Lupinus albus L. suggests that they may also serve as storage proteins in the seed. LbAPI could be a promising tool to make genetically modified coffee with resistance to H. hampei. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Hughes S.R.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Cox E.J.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Cox E.J.,Bradley University | Bang S.S.,South Dakota School of Mines and Technology | And 14 more authors.
Journal of Laboratory Automation | Year: 2015

A yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) containing a multigene cassette for expression of enzymes that enhance xylose utilization (xylose isomerase [XI] and xylulokinase [XKS]) was constructed and transformed into Saccharomyces cerevisiae to demonstrate feasibility as a stable protein expression system in yeast and to design an assembly process suitable for an automated platform. Expression of XI and XKS from the YAC was confirmed by Western blot and PCR analyses. The recombinant and wild-type strains showed similar growth on plates containing hexose sugars, but only recombinant grew on D-xylose and L-arabinose plates. In glucose fermentation, doubling time (4.6 h) and ethanol yield (0.44 g ethanol/g glucose) of recombinant were comparable to wild type (4.9 h and 0.44 g/g). In whole-corn hydrolysate, ethanol yield (0.55 g ethanol/g [glucose + xylose]) and xylose utilization (38%) for recombinant were higher than for wild type (0.47 g/g and 12%). In hydrolysate from spent coffee grounds, yield was 0.46 g ethanol/g (glucose + xylose), and xylose utilization was 93% for recombinant. These results indicate introducing a YAC expressing XI and XKS enhanced xylose utilization without affecting integrity of the host strain, and the process provides a potential platform for automated synthesis of a YAC for expression of multiple optimized genes to improve yeast strains. © 2015, Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.

Hughes S.R.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Bang S.S.,South Dakota School of Mines and Technology | Cox E.J.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Schoepke A.,Eureka College | And 16 more authors.
Journal of Laboratory Automation | Year: 2013

The yeast Kluyveromyces marxianus is a potential microbial catalyst for fuel ethanol production from a wide range of biomass substrates. To improve its growth and ethanol yield at elevated temperature under microaerophilic conditions, K. marxianus NRRL Y-1109 was irradiated with UV-C using automated protocols on a robotic platform for picking and spreading irradiated cultures and for processing the resulting plates. The plates were incubated under anaerobic conditions on xylose or glucose for 5 mo at 46 °C. Two K. marxianus mutant strains (designated 7-1 and 8-1) survived and were isolated from the glucose plates. Both mutant strains, but not wild type, grew aerobically on glucose at 47 °C. All strains grew anaerobically at 46 °C on glucose, galactose, galacturonic acid, and pectin; however, only 7-1 grew anaerobically on xylose at 46 °C. Saccharomyces cerevisiae NRRL Y-2403 did not grow at 46 °C on any of these substrates. With glucose as a carbon source, ethanol yield after 3 d at 46 °C was higher for 8-1 than for wild type (0.51 and 0.43 g ethanol/g glucose, respectively). With galacturonic acid as a carbon source, the ethanol yield after 7 d at 46 °C was higher for 7-1 than for wild type (0.48 and 0.34 g ethanol/g galacturonic acid, respectively). These mutant strains have potential application in fuel ethanol production at elevated temperature from sugar constituents of starch, sucrose, pectin, and cellulosic biomass. © 2013 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.

Hughes S.R.,National United University | Lopez-Nunez J.C.,National Coffee Research Center Cenicafe | Jones M.A.,Illinois State University | Moser B.R.,National United University | And 11 more authors.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology | Year: 2014

The environmental impact of agricultural waste from the processing of food and feed crops is an increasing concern worldwide. Concerted efforts are underway to develop sustainable practices for the disposal of residues from the processing of such crops as coffee, sugarcane, or corn. Coffee is crucial to the economies of many countries because its cultivation, processing, trading, and marketing provide employment for millions of people. In coffee-producing countries, improved technology for treatment of the significant amounts of coffee waste is critical to prevent ecological damage. This mini-review discusses a multi-stage biorefinery concept with the potential to convert waste produced at crop processing operations, such as coffee pulping stations, to valuable biofuels and bioproducts using biochemical and thermochemical conversion technologies. The initial bioconversion stage uses a mutant Kluyveromyces marxianus yeast strain to produce bioethanol from sugars. The resulting sugar-depleted solids (mostly protein) can be used in a second stage by the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica to produce bio-based ammonia for fertilizer and are further degraded by Y. lipolytica proteases to peptides and free amino acids for animal feed. The lignocellulosic fraction can be ground and treated to release sugars for fermentation in a third stage by a recombinant cellulosic Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which can also be engineered to express valuable peptide products. The residual protein and lignin solids can be jet cooked and passed to a fourth-stage fermenter where Rhodotorula glutinis converts methane into isoprenoid intermediates. The residues can be combined and transferred into pyrocracking and hydroformylation reactions to convert ammonia, protein, isoprenes, lignins, and oils into renewable gas. Any remaining waste can be thermoconverted to biochar as a humus soil enhancer. The integration of multiple technologies for treatment of coffee waste has the potential to contribute to economic and environmental sustainability. © 2014, The Author(s).

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