Swedish researchers create heat-tolerant yeast strain

October 6, 2014 |

In Sweden, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have now resolved the issue of what makes yeast thermotolerant, and with a simple mutation, the team can alter yeast to grow in higher than normal temperatures. The findings may result in ethanol being more effectively manufactured for vehicle fuel, as well as increase the possibility of using residual waste as a raw material. The production of bioethanol could be both less expensive and more effective if the temperature could be maintained at 40 degrees.If even a minor improvement can be introduced into the process, billions of dollars can be saved every year, according to the researchers.

”As it turns out, a simple mutation is sufficient,” says Jens Nielsen, professor of systems biology and head of the research team. ”Yeast has a molecule in its cell membrane called ergosterol, instead of cholesterol which humans have. The mutation exchanges ergosterol for a more bent molecule called fecosterol. This has several different effects on the cells, which enables the yeast to grow at 40 degrees. ”

More on the story.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , ,

Category: Research

Thank you for visting the Digest.