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Study of the expression, deletion and superexpression of OLE1 gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae during the fermentation process

Grant number: 14/18459-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2014
Effective date (End): June 29, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Anderson Ferreira da Cunha
Grantee:Gabriel Piccirillo Gomide
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Knowing the probable scarcity of fossil fuels in the future and the tragic consequences to atmosphere that its usage causes, many countries turned their attention to renewable sources of energy. The development of these sources - that besides renewable, emit less pollutants - has been receiving strong investments. Given that Brazil has as its main alternative energy source the ethanol, and is its second biggest producer, an improvement in its process of obtainment would bring economic benefits as well as environmental ones. For that, we have to understand the major problems faced in the industrial fermentation process, and how the fermenter microorganisms would be able to overcome them. The major prejudicial factors to the productivity of ethanol are the temperature increase and the ethanol concentration inside the vat. Both lead to the yield's stressing and consequential decrease in the rate of the produced ethanol. When that happens, the yield (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) induces specific genes and cellular processes as a way to guarantee a certain tolerance to these stressing agents. Certain studies have evinced that this tolerance is conferred through the modification of the fluidity of the yield's membrane, indicating a possible correlation with the expression of the gene OLE1, responsible for the codification of the enzyme Ole1p, that participates in the synthesis of unsaturated fatty acids that constitute the membrane. This project has as its goal the search for a better understanding of the genetic expression of OLE1; in what ways this interferes in the yield's resistance to high temperatures and concentrations of ethanol and the consequences that the superexpression and deletion of the gene might bring to the fermentative process.

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