Our research interest is the design and optimization of S. cerevisiae strains for industrial biotechnology. One major current focus has been the improvement of glycerol utilization by the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Glycerol is renewable and has several attractive advantages as a carbon source for bioprocesses. After successfully generating glycerol-utlilizing S. cerevisiae strains, our current focus is to exploit the advantages of glycerol for the production of valuable chemicals such as 1,2-PDO and succinic acid (fermentative metabolism) and for heterologous protein production (respiratory metabolism). Besides the establishment and optimization of the metabolic flux from substrate to product, we also focus on the overall performance of the production strain under industrial constraints which includes the improvement of stress tolerance. For example, we recently recognized the importance of population heterogeneity in tolerance to weak acids.
Project 5: Pectinolytic activities in yeast: genetic, enzymatic and metabolic diversity
Project 10: Utilisation of crude glycerol in S. cerevisiae-based bioprocesses
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