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Genomics and transcriptomic analysis of thermo - and ethanol-resistent strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolated during the process of ethanol production - construction of biological platforms for industrial use


Motivated by concerns of economic and environmental reasons, nations such as Brazil and the United States turned their attempts to ethanol as a potential solution to face the growing demand for renewable energy. In Brazil, ethanol is produced by fermentation of sucrose from sugarcane by the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This fermentation process requires the temperature to range between 30 and 35° C in order to maximize production. To maintain this temperature cooling systems of high cost must be included in the process especially in tropical countries, as is the case of Brazil. Recently, our research group followed the crops during the fermentation process for ethanol production and isolated several invasive strains occurring throughout the fermentation process. So, a collection was created of about 250 strains presenting different fermentation characteristics, including that of being able to ferment at high temperatures and high concentrations of ethanol. In preliminary tests, three of these strains showed very promising phenotypic traits in comparison to the fermentative capacity of strain Pedra-2 (PE-2), the most widely used strain in plants to produce ethanol. Understanding the pathways and genes in these strains differences can furnish huge benefits in improving the strains with established used and the development of new strains possessing high efficiency as platforms for further industrial use. The main objective of this project is to identify and characterize genes and pathways in these promising yeast strains by analyzing global gene expression analysis and comparative genomics, comparing their genomic and transcriptionaling profiling with PE-2 industrial strain and the laboratory strain… (AU)

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