Alcohol Fermentation at High Temperature and the Strain-specific Characteristics Required to Endow the Thermotolerance of Sacchromyces cerevisiae KNU5377

  • Paik, Sang-Kyoo (Department of Microbiology, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Park, In-Su (Department of Microbiology, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Kim, Il-Sup (Department of Microbiology, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Kang, Kyung-Hee (Department of Microbiology, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Yu, Choon-Bal (Department of Food Science and Technology, Daegu University) ;
  • Rhee, In-Koo (Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Jin, In-Gnyol (Department of Microbiology, Kyungpook National University)
  • Published : 2005.06.30


Saccharomyces cerevisiae KNU5377 is a thermotolerant strain, which can ferment ethanol from wasted papers and starch at 40$^{\circ}C$ with the almost same rate as at 30$^{\circ}C$. This strain showed alcohol fermentation ability to convert wasted papers 200 g (w/v) to ethanol 8.4% (v/v) at 40$^{\circ}C$, meaning that 8.4% ethanol is acceptable enough to ferment in the industrial economy. As well, all kinds of starch that are using in the industry were converted into ethanol at 40$^{\circ}C$ with the almost same rate as at 30$^{\circ}C$. Hyperthermic cell killing kinetics and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) revealed that exponentially growing cells of this yeast strain KNU5377 were more thermotolerant than those of S. cerevisiae ATCC24858 used as a control. This intrinsic thermotolernace did not result from the stability of entire cellular components but possibly from that of a particular target. Heat shock induced similar results in whole cell DSC profiles of both strains and the accumulation of trehalose in the cells of both strains, but the trehalose contents in the strain KNU5377 were 2.6 fold higher than that in the control strain. On the contrary to the trehalose level, the neutral trehalase activity in the KNU5377 cells was not changed after the heat shock. This result made a conclusion that though the trehalose may stabilize cellular components, the surplus of trehalose in KNU5377 strain was not essential for stabilization of whole cellular components. A constitutively thermotolerant yeast, S. cerevisiae KNU5377, was compared with a relatively thermosensitive control, S. cerevisiae ATCC24858, by assaying the fluidity and proton ATPase on the plasma membrane. Anisotropic values (r) of both strains were slightly increased by elevating the incubation temperatures from 25$^{\circ}C$ to 37$^{\circ}C$ when they were aerobically cultured for 12 hours in the YPD media, implying the membrane fluidity was decreased. While the temperature was elevated up to 40$^{\circ}C$, the fluidity was not changed in the KNU5377 cell, but rather increased in the control. This result implies that the plasma membrane of the KNU5377 cell can be characterized into the more stabilized state than control. Besides, heat shock decreased the fluidity in the control strain, but not in the KNU5377 strain. This means also there's a stabilization of the plasma membrane in the KNU5377 cell. Furthermore, the proton ATPase assay indicated the KNU5377 cell kept a relatively more stabilized glucose metabolism at high temperature than the control cell. Therefore, the results were concluded that the stabilization of plasma membrane and growth at high temperature for the KNU5377 cell. Genome wide transcription analysis showed that the heat shock responses were very complex and combinatory in the KNU5377 cell. Induced by the heat shock, a number of genes were related with the ubiquitin mediated proteolysis, metallothionein (prevent ROS production from copper), hsp27 (88-fold induced remarkably, preventing the protein aggregation and denaturation), oxidative stress response (to remove the hydrogen peroxide), and etc.