Tufts researchers genetically modify yeast to consume xylose

April 4, 2018 |

In Texas, researchers at Tufts University have created a genetically modified yeast that can more efficiently consume a novel nutrient, xylose, enabling the yeast to grow faster and to higher cell densities, raising the prospect of a significantly faster path toward the design of new synthetic organisms for industrial applications, according to a study published in Nature Communications.

In this study, the researchers noted that conventional approaches to modifying organisms to consume novel nutrients constitutively (i.e. with no “off switch”) can lead to inefficiencies when the nutrient metabolic pathways are not linked to downstream pathways for stress-responses, cell growth and other functions important for the health of the organism.

Taking a different approach, the researchers took a set of regulatory genes, called a GAL regulon, that normally processes galactose – a favorite on the yeast menu of nutrients – and replaced some of the genes with those that become activated by, and direct the breakdown of, xylose. All other genes in the GAL regulon were unchanged. In doing so, they preserved a more natural interaction between the genes that govern feeding and those that govern survival. The new synthetic regulon, dubbed XYL, enabled the yeast cells to grow more rapidly and to higher cell densities.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , ,

Category: Research

Thank you for visting the Digest.