Utilisation of crude glycerol in S. cerevisiae-based bioprocesses

Academic partners: Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany; University of Bicocca, Milano, Italy
Industry Partner: ACIB GmbH, Vienna, Austria

Glycerol is an attractive carbon source for S. cerevisiae-based bioprocesses since, compared to sugars, it does not exert carbon catabolite repression that means there is no ethanol formation during aerobic growth. This renders higher biomass yield per carbon. Glycerol can be considered as renewable since it is an essential part of lipids and oils in biomass and released in biorefineries. Unfortunately, many wild-type S. cerevisiae strains are not able to utilize glycerol efficiently. However, the partner at Jacobs University recently demonstrated that this phenotype can be improved by rational and reverse metabolic engineering. The goal of the current project is to further improve the growth on glycerol of the constructed strains and to investigate their utility for heterologous protein production, optimising not only the host but also the fermentation parameters. The best strain(s) will be engineered for the production and secretion of an industrially relevant lipase serving as a model product and will proceed to analysis at pilot scale.