Chalmers University scientists have confirmed the fact that yeast growth can befacilitated by simple mutations at higher temperatures. This inference can have larger consequences for the production of biofuels and ethanol. The study also made extensive ethanol production easy for Altered Sterol Composition Renders Yeast thermotolerant as well as production of bio-fuels.
They further told that in recent times, during the process of yeast cultivation the vats temperature should be maintained low on scales so that the heat which is produced by them may not destroy the cells. They also suggested the temperature favorable for ethanol production. According to their analysis the temperature should be maintained at 30 degrees Celsius. Moreover raw materials required for the process are gained from starch breakdown process which produces optimum results at 40 degree Celsius.
The research was lead by the professor of systems biology, Jens Nielsen. According to her opinion, to make the yeast thermotolerant the only requirement is a basic mutation. He further explained that ergosterol, which is found in yeast cell membranes if get mutated for–a more “bent” molecule called fecosterol makes the yeast thermotolerant.
It was not done simply. The researchers used adaptive laboratory evolution in order to attain success. They grew various cultivations at 40 degrees for 3 months. After the elapse of almost 300 generations, finally yeast stated to flourish. All the descendants of thermotolerant yeast had fecosterol instead of ergosterol. Consequently they became successful in achieving a stable cell membrane along with thermotolerance in yeasts. Furthermore they reported that this mutation will be passed on to their upcoming generations as well.
The findings were stated by Neilsen in following statement:
“Since that mutation took place in three independent cultivations, it appears to be the most important factor in terms of the yeast becoming thermotolerant. This shows how rapidly evolution can change an organism. It is interesting that the structure in fecosterol is the same as in sterol-like molecules, which protect some bacteria and plants against high temperatures.”
During a recent press release, Nielsen briefly explained his study findings:
The study, entitled , could pave the way for enhanced ethanol production. These advantages could also prove useful in the development of biofuels that “more closely resemble oil-based fuel.”