Membrane stress by accumulation of short chain fatty acids in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Academic partners: University of Bicocca, Milano, Italy; University of MINHO, Portugal
Industry Partner: ACIB, Austria


The project will assess the consequences of the exposure of S. cerevisiae cells to short chain fatty acids, intended as bioproducts of interest for chemical industries and as inhibitors released from residual lignocellulosic biomass, evaluating single cell level parameters. Mutants in pathways involved in lipid synthesis and degradation will be preferentially studied, incubating them with different short chain fatty acids to analyse membrane stability and the triggering of cell death process. Differential analyses will comprise RNAseq, and proteomic data from membrane-enriched samples. Targets identified will be tested using CRISPR-Cas9 mediated genome editing to accelerate the development of strains with enhanced robustness.

Engineered strains for improved resistance against short chain fatty acids will be tested in bioreactor cultivations at the industrial partner, with a special emphasis on substrate uptake rates (including oxygen uptake) and growth rates, to infer the industrial potential of the developed strains.