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1.  Recovery of Glucose from Residual Starch of Sago Hampas for Bioethanol Production 
BioMed Research International  2012;2013:935852.
Lower concentration of glucose was often obtained from enzymatic hydrolysis process of agricultural residue due to complexity of the biomass structure and properties. High substrate load feed into the hydrolysis system might solve this problem but has several other drawbacks such as low rate of reaction. In the present study, we have attempted to enhance glucose recovery from agricultural waste, namely, “sago hampas,” through three cycles of enzymatic hydrolysis process. The substrate load at 7% (w/v) was seen to be suitable for the hydrolysis process with respect to the gelatinization reaction as well as sufficient mixture of the suspension for saccharification process. However, this study was focused on hydrolyzing starch of sago hampas, and thus to enhance concentration of glucose from 7% substrate load would be impossible. Thus, an alternative method termed as cycles I, II, and III which involved reusing the hydrolysate for subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis process was introduced. Greater improvement of glucose concentration (138.45 g/L) and better conversion yield (52.72%) were achieved with the completion of three cycles of hydrolysis. In comparison, cycle I and cycle II had glucose concentration of 27.79 g/L and 73.00 g/L, respectively. The glucose obtained was subsequently tested as substrate for bioethanol production using commercial baker's yeast. The fermentation process produced 40.30 g/L of ethanol after 16 h, which was equivalent to 93.29% of theoretical yield based on total glucose existing in fermentation media.
PMCID: PMC3591117  PMID: 23509813
2.  Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from young leaves of Metroxylon sagu 
3 Biotech  2012;2(3):211-218.
Sago palm, or Metroxylon sagu, is a hardy and versatile plant that is able to tolerate many stresses, biotic and abiotic, during its growth. It is one of the plants that are able to grow in waterlogged area where others could not. Apart from that sago palm is also a source of starch, contributes economically to the people and an important export for the state of Sarawak. Despite the importance of sago palm especially in the production of starch and its ability to withstand stresses, so far, not many molecular studies have been reported on sago palm. To study the characters in sago palm, transcriptome analysis was conducted where it would give a better understanding of the plant development through gene expression. Here, we report the construction of a cDNA library and preliminary expressed sequence tags analysis from the young leaves of sago palm. A total of 434 clones were sequenced with inserts ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 bps with primary and amplified titers of 8 × 105 and 1.0 × 109 pfu/ml, respectively. Clustering of these sequences resulted in a set of 372 tentative unigenes comprising 340 singletons and 32 contigs. The database was also annotated with BLAST2GO which showed that majority of the transcripts were involved in primary metabolism and stress tolerance.
PMCID: PMC3433882
EST; cDNA; Sequencing; Metroxylon sagu; Sago palm
3.  Genetic Transformation of Metroxylon sagu (Rottb.) Cultures via Agrobacterium-Mediated and Particle Bombardment 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:348140.
Sago palm (Metroxylon sagu) is a perennial plant native to Southeast Asia and exploited mainly for the starch content in its trunk. Genetic improvement of sago palm is extremely slow when compared to other annual starch crops. Urgent attention is needed to improve the sago palm planting material and can be achieved through nonconventional methods. We have previously developed a tissue culture method for sago palm, which is used to provide the planting materials and to develop a genetic transformation procedure. Here, we report the genetic transformation of sago embryonic callus derived from suspension culture using Agrobacterium tumefaciens and gene gun systems. The transformed embryoids cells were selected against Basta (concentration 10 to 30 mg/L). Evidence of foreign genes integration and function of the bar and gus genes were verified via gene specific PCR amplification, gus staining, and dot blot analysis. This study showed that the embryogenic callus was the most suitable material for transformation as compared to the fine callus, embryoid stage, and initiated shoots. The gene gun transformation showed higher transformation efficiency than the ones transformed using Agrobacterium when targets were bombarded once or twice using 280 psi of helium pressure at 6 to 8 cm distance.
PMCID: PMC4177182  PMID: 25295258
4.  Production of l(+)-lactic acid from acid pretreated sugarcane bagasse using Bacillus coagulans DSM2314 in a simultaneous saccharification and fermentation strategy 
Sugars derived from lignocellulose-rich sugarcane bagasse can be used as feedstock for production of l(+)-lactic acid, a precursor for renewable bioplastics. In our research, acid-pretreated bagasse was hydrolysed with the enzyme cocktail GC220 and fermented by the moderate thermophilic bacterium Bacillus coagulans DSM2314. Saccharification and fermentation were performed simultaneously (SSF), adding acid-pretreated bagasse either in one batch or in two stages. SSF was performed at low enzyme dosages of 10.5–15.8 FPU/g DW bagasse.
The first batch SSF resulted in an average productivity of 0.78 g/l/h, which is not sufficient to compete with lactic acid production processes using high-grade sugars. Addition of 1 g/l furfural to precultures can increase B. coagulans resistance towards by-products present in pretreated lignocellulose. Using furfural-containing precultures, productivity increased to 0.92 g/l/h, with a total lactic acid production of 91.7 g in a 1-l reactor containing 20% W/W DW bagasse. To increase sugar concentrations, bagasse was solubilized with a liquid fraction, obtained directly after acid pretreatment. Solubilizing the bagasse fibres with water increased the average productivity to 1.14 g/l/h, with a total lactic acid production of 84.2 g in a 1-l reactor. Addition of bagasse in two stages reduced viscosity during SSF, resulting in an average productivity in the first 23 h of 2.54 g/l/h, similar to productivities obtained in fermentations using high-grade sugars. Due to fast accumulation of lactic acid, enzyme activity was repressed during two-stage SSF, resulting in a decrease in productivity and a slightly lower total lactic acid production of 75.6 g.
In this study, it is shown that an adequate production of lactic acid from lignocellulose was successfully accomplished by a two-stage SSF process, which combines acid-pretreated bagasse, B. coagulans precultivated in the presence of furfural as microorganism, and GC220 as enzyme cocktail. The process may be further improved by enhancing enzyme hydrolysis activities at high lactic acid concentrations.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13068-016-0646-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5111225  PMID: 27872661
Fermentation; Lactic acid; Simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF); Enzymatic hydrolysis; Bagasse; Lignocellulose
5.  Direct production of itaconic acid from liquefied corn starch by genetically engineered Aspergillus terreus 
Itaconic acid is on the DOE (Department of Energy) top 12 list of biotechnologically produced building block chemicals and is produced commercially by Aspergillus terreus. However, the production cost of itaconic acid is too high to be economically competitive with the petrochemical-based products. Itaconic acid is generally produced from raw corn starch, including three steps: enzymatic hydrolysis of corn starch into a glucose-rich syrup by α-amylase and glucoamylase, fermentation, and recovery of itaconic acid. The whole process is very time-consuming and energy-intensive.
In order to reduce the production cost, saccharification and fermentation were integrated into one step through overexpressing the glucoamylase gene in A. terreus under the control of the native PcitA promoter. The transformant XH61-5 produced higher itaconate titer from liquefied starch than WT. To further increase the titer by enhancing the secretion capacity of overexpressed glucoamylase, a stronger signal peptide was selected based on the major secreted protein ATEG_02176 (an acid phosphatase precursor) by A. terreus under the itaconate production conditions. Under the control of the stronger signal peptide, the transformant XH86-8 showed higher itaconate production level than XH61-5 from liquefied starch. The itaconate titer was further enhanced through a two-step process involving the vegetative and production phase, and the transformant XH86-8 produced comparable itaconate titer from liquefied starch to current one (~80 g/L) from saccharified starch hydrolysates in industry. The effects of the new signal peptide and the two-step process on itaconate production were investigated and discussed.
Itaconic acid could be efficiently produced from liquefied corn starch by overexpressing the glucoamylase gene in A. terreus, which will be helpful for constructing a highly efficient microbial cell factory for itaconate production and for further lowering the production cost of itaconic acid.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12934-014-0108-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4145239  PMID: 25162619
Aspergillus terreus; Glucoamylase; Genetic engineering; Itaconate titer; Liquefied corn starch
6.  Modelling the Biphasic Growth and Product Formation by Enterococcus faecium CECT 410 in Realkalized Fed-Batch Fermentations in Whey 
The influence of initial pH on growth and nutrient (total sugars, nitrogen, and phosphorous) consumption by Enterococcus faecium CECT 410 was studied during batch cultures in whey. With these data, two realkalized fed-batch fermentations were developed using different feeding substrates. The shift from homolactic to mixed acid fermentation, the biphasic kinetics observed for cell growth and nitrogen consumption and the increase in the concentrations of biomass and products (lactic acid, acetic acid, ethanol, and butane-2,3-diol) were the most noteworthy observations of these cultures. Modelling the fed-batch growth of Ent. faecium with the Logistic and bi-Logistic models was not satisfactory. However, biomass production was best mathematically described with the use of a double Monod model, which was expressed in terms of biomass, product accumulation, and nitrogen utilization. Product formation was successfully modelled with a modified form of the Luedeking and Piret model developed in this study.
PMCID: PMC2896665  PMID: 20689729
7.  Production of lactic acid using a new homofermentative Enterococcus faecalis isolate 
Microbial Biotechnology  2014;8(2):221-229.
Lactic acid is an intermediate-volume specialty chemical for a wide range of food and industrial applications such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and chemical syntheses. Although lactic acid production has been well documented, improved production parameters that lead to reduced production costs are always of interest in industrial developments. In this study, we describe the production of lactic acid at high concentration, yield and volumetric productivity utilizing a novel homofermentative, facultative anaerobe Enterococcus faecalis CBRD01. The highest concentration of 182 g lactic acid l−1 was achieved after 38 h of fed-batch fermentation on glucose. The bacterial isolate utilized only 2–13% of carbon for its growth and energy metabolism, while 87–98% of carbon was converted to lactic acid at an overall volumetric productivity of 5 g l−1 h−1. At 13 h of fermentation, the volumetric productivity of lactate production reached 10.3 g l−1 h−1, which is the highest ever reported for microbial production of lactic acid. The lactic acid produced was of high purity as formation of other metabolites was less than 0.1%. The present investigation demonstrates a new opportunity for enhanced production of lactic acid with potential for reduced purification costs.
PMCID: PMC4353336  PMID: 24894833
8.  Non-Sterilized Fermentative Production of Polymer-Grade L-Lactic Acid by a Newly Isolated Thermophilic Strain Bacillus sp. 2–6 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(2):e4359.
The demand for lactic acid has been increasing considerably because of its use as a monomer for the synthesis of polylactic acid (PLA), which is a promising and environment-friendly alternative to plastics derived from petrochemicals. Optically pure l-lactic acid is essential for polymerization of PLA. The high fermentation cost of l-lactic acid is another limitation for PLA polymers to compete with conventional plastics.
Methodology/Principal Findings
A Bacillus sp. strain 2–6 for production of l-lactic acid was isolated at 55°C from soil samples. Its thermophilic characteristic made it a good lactic acid producer because optically pure l-lactic acid could be produced by this strain under open condition without sterilization. In 5-liter batch fermentation of Bacillus sp. 2–6, 118.0 g/liter of l-lactic acid with an optical purity of 99.4% was obtained from 121.3 g/liter of glucose. The yield was 97.3% and the average productivity was 4.37 g/liter/h. The maximum l-lactic acid concentration of 182.0 g/liter was obtained from 30-liter fed-batch fermentation with an average productivity of 3.03 g/liter/h and product optical purity of 99.4%.
With the newly isolated Bacillus sp. strain 2–6, high concentration of optically pure l-lactic acid could be produced efficiently in open fermentation without sterilization, which would lead to a new cost-effective method for polymer-grade l-lactic acid production from renewable resources.
PMCID: PMC2632756  PMID: 19194504
9.  Microbial and Physiological Characterization of Weakly Amylolytic but Fast-Growing Lactic Acid Bacteria: a Functional Role in Supporting Microbial Diversity in Pozol, a Mexican Fermented Maize Beverage 
Pozol is an acid beverage obtained from the natural fermentation of nixtamal (heat- and alkali-treated maize) dough. The concentration of mono- and disaccharides from maize is reduced during nixtamalization, so that starch is the main carbohydrate available for lactic acid fermentation. In order to provide some basis to understand the role of amylolytic lactic acid bacteria (ALAB) in this fermented food, their diversity and physiological characteristics were determined. Forty amylolytic strains were characterized by phenotypic and molecular taxonomic methods. Four different biotypes were distinguished via ribotyping; Streptococcus bovis strains were found to be predominant. Streptococcus macedonicus, Lactococcus lactis, and Enterococcus sulfureus strains were also identified. S. bovis strain 25124 showed extremely low amylase yield relative to biomass (139 U g [cell dry weight]−1) and specific rate of amylase production (130.7 U g [cell dry weight]−1 h−1). In contrast, it showed a high specific growth rate (0.94 h−1) and an efficient energy conversion yield to bacterial cell biomass (0.31 g of biomass g of substrate−1). These would confer on the strain a competitive advantage and are the possible reasons for its dominance. Transient accumulation of maltooligosaccharides during fermentation could presumably serve as energy sources for nonamylolytic species in pozol fermentation. This would explain the observed diversity and the dominance of nonamylolytic lactic acid bacteria at the end of fermentation. These results are the first step to understanding the importance of ALAB during pozol fermentation.
PMCID: PMC169132  PMID: 12902217
10.  Direct fermentation of potato starch and potato residues to lactic acid by Geobacillus stearothermophilus under non-sterile conditions 
Lactic acid is an important biorefinery platform chemical. The use of thermophilic amylolytic microorganisms to produce lactic acid by fermentation constitutes an efficient strategy to reduce operating costs, including raw materials and sterilization costs.
A process for the thermophilic production of lactic acid by Geobacillus stearothermophilus directly from potato starch was characterized and optimized. Geobacillus stearothermophilus DSM 494 was selected out of 12 strains screened for amylolytic activity and the ability to form lactic acid as the major product of the anaerobic metabolism. In total more than 30 batches at 3–l scale were run at 60 °C under non-sterile conditions. The process developed produced 37 g L−1 optically pure (98%) L-lactic acid in 20 h from 50 g L−1 raw potato starch. As co-metabolites smaller amounts (<7% w/v) of acetate, formate and ethanol were formed. Yields of lactic acid increased from 66% to 81% when potato residues from food processing were used as a starchy substrate in place of raw potato starch.
Potato starch and residues were successfully converted to lactic acid by G. stearothermophilus. The process described in this study provides major benefits in industrial applications and for the valorization of starch-rich waste streams. © 2015 The Authors.Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.
PMCID: PMC4409858  PMID: 25937690
Geobacillus stearothermophilus; thermophiles; lactic acid; fermentation; starch; amylolytic bacteria
11.  Physiologic and performance effects of sago supplementation before and during cycling in a warm-humid environment 
The present study determined whether 0.8g/kg bodyweight sago ingested before (Pre-Sago) or during (Dur-Sago) exercise under warm-humid conditions (30 ± 2°C, 78 ± 3 % RH; 20 km·h−1 frontal airflow) conferred a performance and/or physiological benefit compared to a control (Control) condition. Eight trained, male cyclists/triathletes (45 ± 4 y, VO2peak: 65 ± 10 ml·kg−1·min−1, peak aerobic power: 397 ± 71 W) completed 3 15-min time-trials (∼75% VO2peak) pre-loaded with 45 min of steady-state (∼55% VO2peak) cycling following > 24 h standardization of training and diet. Measures of work completed, rectal and mean skin temperatures, heart rate, expiratory gases and venous blood samples were taken. Compared to Control, Pre-Sago resulted in a smaller rise in rectal temperature (0.3 ± 0.5°C) while heart rate increased to a greater extent (6 ± 13 beats·min−1) during exercise (both P < 0.05), however, compared to Control time-trial performance remained unaffected (Pre-Sago: −0.5 ± 4.0%, P > 0.05). During exercise, plasma glucose concentrations were maintained higher for Dur-Sago than Control (P < 0.05), however substrate oxidation rates remained similar (P > 0.05). Dur-Sago also resulted in a higher plasma sodium concentration (2 ± 2 mmol·l1) and lower whole-body sweat loss (544 ± 636 g) and, therefore, reduced plasma volume contraction (all P < 0.05). Heart rate increased to a greater extent (5 ± 13 beats·min−1) during Dur-Sago, yet compared to Control time-trial performance remained unaffected (+0.9 ± 2.3%, P > 0.05). Uniquely, these results indicate that during exercise heat stress feeding sago can result in some ‘beneficial’ physiological responses, however these do not translate to changes in exercise performance when performed in a post-prandial state.
PMCID: PMC4964999  PMID: 27857961
exercise; malaysia; starch; tropical heat
12.  Efficient Open Fermentative Production of Polymer-Grade L-Lactate from Sugarcane Bagasse Hydrolysate by Thermotolerant Bacillus sp. Strain P38 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e107143.
Lactic acid is one of the top 30 potential building-block chemicals from biomass, of which the most extensive use is in the polymerization of lactic acid to poly-lactic-acid (PLA). To reduce the cost of PLA, the search for cheap raw materials and low-cost process for lactic acid production is highly desired. In this study, the final titer of produced L-lactic acid reached a concentration of 185 g·L−1 with a volumetric productivity of 1.93 g·L−1·h−1 by using sugarcane bagasse hydrolysate as the sole carbon source simultaneously with cottonseed meal as cheap nitrogen sources under the open fed-batch fermentation process. Furthermore, a lactic acid yield of 0.99 g per g of total reducing sugars was obtained, which is very close to the theoretical value (1.0 g g−1). No D-isomer of lactic acid was detected in the broth, and thereafter resulted in an optical purity of 100%, which exceeds the requirement of lactate polymerization process. To our knowledge, this is the best performance of fermentation on polymer-grade L-lactic acid production totally using lignocellulosic sources. The high levels of optically pure l-lactic acid produced, combined with the ease of handling and low costs associated with the open fermentation strategy, indicated the thermotolerant Bacillus sp. P38 could be an excellent candidate strain with great industrial potential for polymer-grade L-lactic acid production from various cellulosic biomasses.
PMCID: PMC4156441  PMID: 25192451
13.  Aglycone Isoflavones and Exopolysaccharides Produced by Lactobacillus acidophilus in Fermented Soybean Paste 
Bioconversion of aglycone-formed isoflavones from glycoside-formed isoflavones by commercial lactic acid bacteria in fermented soybean paste was evaluated. Enterococcus faecium KCTC 13410 showed the most resistant capacity and Lactobacillus acidophilus KCTC 3925 had a sensitive susceptibility at a high NaCl concentration (13.2%) in fermented soybean paste. Among the 5 strains tested, Lac. acidophilus KCTC 3925 showed the highest relative ratio of aglycone-formed isoflavones to total isoflavones in fermented soybean paste. Production of exopolysaccarides (EPS) by lactic acid bacteria was compared using de Man, Rogosa, and Sharpe medium containing 1% sucrose at 37°C for 48 h. Among the 5 lactic acid bacteria, Lac. acidophilus KCTC 3925 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus KCTC 3929 were investigated to produce EPS. Based on the results concerning growing susceptibility and conversion of aglycone-formed isoflavones/EPS production, it is anticipated that Lac. acidophilus KCTC 3925 may be used for preparation of Cheonggukjang, which contains relative low NaCl content.
PMCID: PMC4935238  PMID: 27390728
Cheonggukjang; fermented soybean paste; exopolysaccharide; isoflavone; lactic acid bacteria
14.  Application of Response Surface Methodology for Optimizing Arginine Deiminase Production Medium for Enterococcus faecium sp. GR7 
The Scientific World Journal  2013;2013:892587.
Arginine metabolism in Enterococcus faecium sp. GR7 was enhanced via arginine deiminase pathway. Process parameters including fermentation media and environmental conditions were optimized using independent experiments and response surface methodology (central composite design). Fermentation media (EAPM) were optimized using independent experiments which resulted in 4-fold increase in arginine deiminase specific activity as compared to basal medium. To further enhance arginine deiminase activity in E. faecium sp. GR7 and biomass production including a five-level central composite design (CCD) was employed to study the interactive effect of three-process variables. Response surface methodology suggested a quadratic model which was further validated experimentally where it showed approximately 15-fold increase in arginine metabolism (in terms of arginine deiminase specific activity) over basal medium. By solving the regression equation and analyzing the response surface cartons, optimal concentrations of the media components (g/L) were determined as arginine 20.0; tryptone 15.0; lactose 10.0; K2HPO4 3.0; NaCl 1.0, MnSO4 0.6 mM; Tween 80 1%; pH 6.0 for achieving specific arginine deiminase activity of 4.6 IU/mG with concomitant biomass production of 12.1 mg/L. The model is significant as the coefficient of determination (R2) was 0.87 to 0.90 for all responses. Enhanced arginine deiminase yield from E. faecium, a GRAS lactic acid bacterial strain, is desirable to explore in vitro therapeutic potential of the arginine metabolizing E. faecium sp. GR7.
PMCID: PMC3877641  PMID: 24453919
15.  Comparison of high-titer lactic acid fermentation from NaOH- and NH3-H2O2-pretreated corncob by Bacillus coagulans using simultaneous saccharification and fermentation 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:37245.
Lignocellulose is one of the most abundant renewable feedstocks that has attracted considerable attention as a substrate for biofuel and biochemical production. One such biochemical product, lactic acid, is an important fermentation product because of its great potential for the production of biodegradable and biocompatible polylactic acid. High-titer lactic acid production from lignocellulosic materials has been achieved recently; however, it requires biodetoxification or results in large amounts of waste washing water. In this study, we employed two alkaline pretreatment methods and compared their effects on lactic acid fermentation of pretreated corncob by Bacillus coagulans LA204 using fed-batch simultaneous saccharification and fermentation under non-sterile conditions. The lactic acid titer, yield, and productivity from 16% (w/w) NaOH-pretreated and washed corncob were 122.99 g/L, 0.77 g/g corncob, and 1.37 g/L/h, respectively, and from 16% NH3-H2O2-pretreated and washed corncob were 118.60 g/L, 0.74 g/g corncob, and 1.32 g/L/h, respectively. Importantly, the lactic acid titer, yield, and productivity from 18.4% NH3-H2O2-pretreated and unwashed corncob by using fed-batch simultaneous saccharification and fermentation reached 79.47 g/L, 0.43 g/g corncob, and 1.10 g/L/h, respectively, demonstrating that this method is possible for industrial applications and saves washing water.
PMCID: PMC5112544  PMID: 27853308
16.  Homofermentative production of optically pure L-lactic acid from xylose by genetically engineered Escherichia coli B 
Polylactic acid (PLA), a biodegradable polymer, has the potential to replace (at least partially) traditional petroleum-based plastics, minimizing “white pollution”. However, cost-effective production of optically pure L-lactic acid is needed to achieve the full potential of PLA. Currently, starch-based glucose is used for L-lactic acid fermentation by lactic acid bacteria. Due to its competition with food resources, an alternative non-food substrate such as cellulosic biomass is needed for L-lactic acid fermentation. Nevertheless, the substrate (sugar stream) derived from cellulosic biomass contains significant amounts of xylose, which is unfermentable by most lactic acid bacteria. However, the microorganisms that do ferment xylose usually carry out heterolactic acid fermentation. As a result, an alternative strain should be developed for homofermentative production of optically pure L-lactic acid using cellulosic biomass.
In this study, an ethanologenic Escherichia coli strain, SZ470 (ΔfrdBC ΔldhA ΔackA ΔpflB ΔpdhR ::pflBp6-acEF-lpd ΔmgsA), was reengineered for homofermentative production of L-lactic acid from xylose (1.2 mole xylose = > 2 mole L-lactic acid), by deleting the alcohol dehydrogenase gene (adhE) and integrating the L-lactate dehydrogenase gene (ldhL) of Pediococcus acidilactici. The resulting strain, WL203, was metabolically evolved further through serial transfers in screw-cap tubes containing xylose, resulting in the strain WL204 with improved anaerobic cell growth. When tested in 70 g L-1 xylose fermentation (complex medium), WL204 produced 62 g L-1 L-lactic acid, with a maximum production rate of 1.631 g L-1 h-1 and a yield of 97% based on xylose metabolized. HPLC analysis using a chiral column showed that an L-lactic acid optical purity of 99.5% was achieved by WL204.
These results demonstrated that WL204 has the potential for homofermentative production of L-lactic acid using cellulosic biomass derived substrates, which contain a significant amount of xylose.
PMCID: PMC3693985  PMID: 23758664
E. coli; Genetic engineering; L-lactic acid; PLA; Xylose fermentation
17.  Novel homologous lactate transporter improves l-lactic acid production from glycerol in recombinant strains of Pichia pastoris 
Crude glycerol is the main byproduct of the biodiesel industry. Although it can have different applications, its purification is costly. Therefore, in this study a biotechnological route has been proposed for further utilization of crude glycerol in the fermentative production of lactic acid. This acid is largely utilized in food, pharmaceutical, textile, and chemical industries, making it the hydroxycarboxylic acid with the highest market potential worldwide. Currently, industrial production of lactic acid is done mainly using sugar as the substrate. Thus here, for the first time, Pichia pastoris has been engineered for heterologous l-lactic acid production using glycerol as a single carbon source. For that, the Bos taurus lactate dehydrogenase gene was introduced into P. pastoris. Moreover, a heterologous and a novel homologous lactate transporter have been evaluated for l-lactic acid production.
Batch fermentation of the P. pastoris X-33 strain producing LDHb allowed for lactic acid production in this yeast. Although P. pastoris is known for its respiratory metabolism, batch fermentations were performed with different oxygenation levels, indicating that lower oxygen availability increased lactic acid production by 20 %, pushing the yeast towards a fermentative metabolism. Furthermore, a newly putative lactate transporter from P. pastoris named PAS has been identified by search similarity with the lactate transporter from Saccharomyces cerevisiae Jen1p. Both heterologous and homologous transporters, Jen1p and PAS, were evaluated in one strain already containing LDH activity. Fed-batch experiments of P. pastoris strains carrying the lactate transporter were performed with the batch phase at aerobic conditions followed by an aerobic oxygen-limited phase where production of lactic acid was favored. The results showed that the strain containing PAS presented the highest lactic acid titer, reaching a yield of approximately 0.7 g/g.
We showed that P. pastoris has a great potential as a fermentative organism for producing l-lactic acid using glycerol as the carbon source at limited oxygenation conditions (below 0.05 % DO in the bioreactor). The best strain had both the LDHb and the homologous lactate transporter encoding genes expressed, and reached a titer 1.5 times higher than the strain with the S. cerevisiae transporter. Finally, it was also shown that increased lactic acid production was concomitant to reduction of acetic acid formation by half.
PMCID: PMC5025603  PMID: 27634467
l-Lactic acid; Pichia (Komagataella) pastoris; Lactate transporter; Oxygen limited fermentation; Lactate dehydrogenase
18.  Efficient production of l-lactic acid by an engineered Thermoanaerobacterium aotearoense with broad substrate specificity 
Efficient conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to optically pure lactic acid is a key challenge for the economical production of biodegradable poly-lactic acid. A recently isolated strain, Thermoanaerobacterium aotearoense SCUT27, is promising as an efficient lactic acid production bacterium from biomass due to its broad substrate specificity. Additionally, its strictly anaerobic and thermophilic characteristics suppress contamination from other microoragnisms. Herein, we report the significant improvements of concentration and yield in lactic acid production from various lignocellulosic derived sugars, achieved by the carbon flux redirection through homologous recombination in T. aotearoense SCUT27.
T. aotearoense SCUT27 was engineered to block the acetic acid formation pathway to improve the lactic acid production. The genetic manipulation resulted in 1.8 and 2.1 fold increase of the lactic acid yield using 10 g/L of glucose or 10 g/L of xylose as substrate, respectively. The maximum l-lactic acid yield of 0.93 g/g glucose with an optical purity of 99.3% was obtained by the engineered strain, designated as LA1002, from 50 g/L of substrate, which is very close to the theoretical value (1.0 g/g of glucose). In particular, LA1002 produced lactic acid at an unprecedented concentration up to 3.20 g/L using 10 g/L xylan as the single substrate without any pretreatment after 48 h fermentation. The non-sterilized fermentative production of l-lactic acid was also carried out, achieving values of 44.89 g/L and 0.89 g/g mixed sugar for lactic acid concentration and yield, respectively.
Blocking acetic acid formation pathway in T. aotearoense SCUT27 increased l-lactic acid production and yield dramatically. To our best knowledge, this is the best performance of fermentation on lactic acid production using xylan as the sole carbon source, considering the final concentration, yield and fermentation time. In addition, it should be mentioned that the performance of non-sterilized simultaneous fermentation from glucose and xylose was very close to that of normal sterilized cultivation. All these results used the mutant strain, LA1002, indicated that it is a new promising candidate for the effective production of optically pure l-lactic acid from lignocellulosic biomass.
PMCID: PMC3766646  PMID: 23985133
l-Lactic acid; Metabolic engineering; Lignocellulosic derived sugars; Xylan; Non-sterilized fermentation
19.  Saccharification and liquefaction of cassava starch: an alternative source for the production of bioethanol using amylolytic enzymes by double fermentation process 
BMC Biotechnology  2014;14:49.
Cassava starch is considered as a potential source for the commercial production of bioethanol because of its availability and low market price. It can be used as a basic source to support large-scale biological production of bioethanol using microbial amylases. With the progression and advancement in enzymology, starch liquefying and saccharifying enzymes are preferred for the conversion of complex starch polymer into various valuable metabolites. These hydrolytic enzymes can selectively cleave the internal linkages of starch molecule to produce free glucose which can be utilized to produce bioethanol by microbial fermentation.
In the present study, several filamentous fungi were screened for production of amylases and among them Aspergillus fumigatus KIBGE-IB33 was selected based on maximum enzyme yield. Maximum α-amylase, amyloglucosidase and glucose formation was achieved after 03 days of fermentation using cassava starch. After salt precipitation, fold purification of α-amylase and amyloglucosidase increased up to 4.1 and 4.2 times with specific activity of 9.2 kUmg-1 and 393 kUmg-1, respectively. Concentrated amylolytic enzyme mixture was incorporated in cassava starch slurry to give maximum glucose formation (40.0 gL-1), which was further fermented using Saccharomyces cerevisiae into bioethanol with 84.0% yield. The distillate originated after recovery of bioethanol gave 53.0% yield.
An improved and effective dual enzymatic starch degradation method is designed for the production of bioethanol using cassava starch. The technique developed is more profitable due to its fast liquefaction and saccharification approach that was employed for the formation of glucose and ultimately resulted in higher yields of alcohol production.
PMCID: PMC4048251  PMID: 24885587
Amylases; Aspergillus fumigatus; Biofuel; Saccharification; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Starch
20.  L (+)-lactic acid production by pellet-form Rhizopus oryzae NRRL 395 on biodiesel crude glycerol 
Given its availability and low price, glycerol derived from biodiesel industry has become an ideal feedstock for the production of fuels and chemicals. A solution to reduce the negative environmental problems and the cost of biodiesel is to use crude glycerol as carbon source for microbial growth media in order to produce valuable organic chemicals. In the present paper, crude glycerol was used as carbon substrate for production of L (+)-lactic acid using pelletized fungus R. oryzae NRRL 395 on batch fermentation. More, the experiments were conducted on media supplemented with inorganic nutrients and lucerne green juice.
Crude and pure glycerols were first used to produce the highest biomass yield of R. oryzae NRRL 395. An enhanced lactic acid production then followed up using fed-batch fermentation with crude glycerol, inorganic nutrients and lucerne green juice. The optimal crude glycerol concentration for cultivating R. oryzae NRRL 395 was 75 g l-1, which resulted in a fungal biomass yield of 0.72 g g-1 in trial without lucerne green juice addition and 0.83 g g-1 in trial with lucerne green juice. The glycerol consumption rate was 1.04 g l-1 h-1 after 48 h in trial with crude glycerol 75 g l-1 while in trial with crude glycerol 10 g l-1 the lowest rate of 0.12 g l-1 h-1 was registered. The highest L (+)-lactic acid yield (3.72 g g-1) was obtained at the crude glycerol concentration of 75 g l-1 and LGJ 25 g l-1, and the concentration of lactic acid was approximately 48 g l-1.
This work introduced sustainable opportunities for L (+)-lactic acid production via R. oryzae NRRL 395 fermentation on biodiesel crude glycerol media. The results showed good fungal growth on crude glycerol at 75 g l-1 concentration with lucerne green juice supplementation of 25 g l-1. Lucerne green juice provided a good source of nutrients for crude glycerol fermentation, without needs for supplementation with inorganic nutrients. Crude glycerol and lucerne green juice ratio influence the L (+)-lactic acid production, increasing the lactate productivity with the concentration of crude glycerol.
PMCID: PMC3832941  PMID: 24112554
21.  Isolation of a genetically accessible thermophilic xylan degrading bacterium from compost 
Due to the finite nature of global oil resources we are now faced with the challenge of finding renewable resources to produce fuels and chemicals in the future. Lactic acid has great potential as a precursor for the production of bioplastics alternatives to conventional plastics. Efficient lactic acid fermentation from non-food lignocellulosic substrates requires pretreatment and saccharification to generate fermentable sugars. A fermentation process that requires little to no enzyme additions, i.e. consolidated bioprocessing would be preferred and requires lactic acid-producing organisms that have cellulolytic and/or hemicellulolytic activity.
To obtain candidate production strains we have enriched and isolated facultative anaerobic (hemi) cellulolytic bacterial strains from compost samples. By selecting for growth on both cellulose and xylan, 94 Geobacillus strains were isolated. Subsequent screening for lactic acid production was carried out from C6 and C5 sugar fermentations and a selection of the best lactic acid producers was made. The denitrifying Geobacillus thermodenitrificans T12 was selected for further research and was rendered genetically accessible. In fermentations on a mixture of glucose and xylose, a total of 20.3 g of lactic acid was produced with a yield of 0.94 g product/g sugar consumed. In addition, strain T12 is capable of direct conversion of beech wood xylan to mainly lactic acid in minimal media.
We have demonstrated that G. thermodenitrificans T12 is genetically accessible and produces lactic acid as its main fermentation product on glucose, xylose and a mixture thereof. Strain T12 was additionally used for the direct conversion of xylan to lactic acid. The genetic accessibility of the T12 strain provides a solid basis for the development of this strain into a host for consolidated bioprocessing of biomass to lactic acid.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13068-016-0618-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5053077  PMID: 27752284
Geobacillus; Thermophile; Compost; Xylan; CMC; Lactic acid; Electroporation; Fermentation
22.  β-Cyclodextrin Production by Cyclodextrin Glucanotransferase from an Alkaliphile Microbacterium terrae KNR 9 Using Different Starch Substrates 
Cyclodextrin glucanotransferase (CGTase, EC is an important member of α-amylase family which can degrade the starch and produce cyclodextrins (CDs) as a result of intramolecular transglycosylation (cyclization). β-Cyclodextrin production was carried out using the purified CGTase enzyme from an alkaliphile Microbacterium terrae KNR 9 with different starches in raw as well as gelatinized form. Cyclodextrin production was confirmed using thin layer chromatography. Six different starch substrates, namely, soluble starch, potato starch, sago starch, corn starch, corn flour, and rice flour, were tested for CD production. Raw potato starch granules were found to be the best substrate giving 13.46 gm/L of cyclodextrins after 1 h of incubation at 60°C. Raw sago starch gave 12.96 gm/L of cyclodextrins as the second best substrate. To achieve the maximum cyclodextrin production, statistical optimization using Central Composite Design (CCD) was carried out with three parameters, namely, potato starch concentration, CGTase enzyme concentration, and incubation temperature. Cyclodextrin production of 28.22 (gm/L) was achieved with the optimized parameters suggested by the model which are CGTase 4.8 U/L, starch 150 gm/L, and temperature 55.6°C. The suggested optimized conditions showed about 15% increase in β-cyclodextrin production (28.22 gm/L) at 55.6°C as compared to 24.48 gm/L at 60°C. The degradation of raw potato starch granules by purified CGTase was also confirmed by microscopic observations.
PMCID: PMC5015009  PMID: 27648307
23.  Inhibitory Effect of Enterococcus faecium WB2000 on Volatile Sulfur Compound Production by Porphyromonas gingivalis 
Volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) produced by oral anaerobes are the major compounds responsible for oral malodor. Enterococcus faecium WB2000 is recognized as an antiplaque probiotic bacterium. In this study, the effect of E. faecium WB2000 on VSC production by Porphyromonas gingivalis was evaluated, and the mechanism of inhibition of oral malodor was investigated. P. gingivalis ATCC 33277 was cultured in the presence of four lactic acid bacteria, including E. faecium WB2000. Subsequently, P. gingivalis ATCC 33277, W50, W83, and two clinical isolates were cultured in the presence or absence of E. faecium WB2000, and the emission of VSCs from spent culture medium was measured by gas chromatography. The number of P. gingivalis ATCC 33277 in mixed culture with E. faecium WB2000 decreased at 6 h, and the rate of decrease was higher than that in mixed cultures with the other lactic acid bacteria. The numbers of five P. gingivalis strains decreased at similar rates in mixed culture with E. faecium WB2000. The concentration of methyl mercaptan was lower in spent culture medium from P. gingivalis and E. faecium WB2000 cultures compared with that from P. gingivalis alone. Therefore, E. faecium WB2000 may reduce oral malodor by inhibiting the growth of P. gingivalis and neutralizing methyl mercaptan.
PMCID: PMC5075313  PMID: 27799940
24.  The Effect of a Silage Inoculant on Silage Quality, Aerobic Stability, and Meat Production on Farm Scale 
ISRN Veterinary Science  2012;2012:345927.
The effect of inoculation on nutrient content, fermentation, aerobic stability, and beef cattle performance for whole-plant corn silage treated with a commercial product (blend of homo- and heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria, BSM, blend of Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Lactobacillus brevis, DSM numbers 3530, 19457, and 23231, resp.), was compared to a control treatment with no silage additives (CT). The material had a DM of 323 g/kg, crude protein, and water-soluble carbohydrate concentrations of 87.9 and 110.5 g/kg DM, respectively. BSM increased the fermentation rate with a significantly deeper pH (P < 0.01), a significant increase in the total organic acids concentration (P < 0.05), more lactic acid (P < 0.01), and numerically more acetic acid compared to CT. BSM significantly decreased the concentrations of butyric acid (P < 0.01), ethanol, and ammonia-N compared to the CT. BSM-treated silage decreased DM by 3.0 % (P < 0.01) and had a higher digestible energy and a higher metabolizable energy concentration by 2.3 (P < 0.01) and 1.00 % (P < 0.05), respectively, compared to untreated silage. Aerobic stability improved by more than 2 days in BSM silage. The DM intake of silage treated with BSM increased by 6.14 %, and improved weight gain and the feed conversion by 8.0 (P < 0.01) and 3.4%.
PMCID: PMC3658818  PMID: 23738122
25.  Production of gamma-aminobutyric acid by Lactobacillus brevis NCL912 using fed-batch fermentation 
Gamma-aminobutyric acid is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in mammalian brains, and has several well-known physiological functions. Lactic acid bacteria possess special physiological activities and are generally regarded as safe. Therefore, using lactic acid bacteria as cell factories for gamma-aminobutyric acid production is a fascinating project and opens up a vast range of prospects for making use of GABA and LAB. We previously screened a high GABA-producer Lactobacillus brevis NCL912 and optimized its fermentation medium composition. The results indicated that the strain showed potential in large-scale fermentation for the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid. To increase the yielding of GABA, further study on the fermentation process is needed before the industrial application in the future. In this article we investigated the impacts of pyridoxal-5'-phosphate, pH, temperature and initial glutamate concentration on gamma-aminobutyric acid production by Lactobacillus brevis NCL912 in flask cultures. According to the data obtained in the above, a simple and effective fed-batch fermentation method was developed to highly efficiently convert glutamate to gamma-aminobutyric acid.
Pyridoxal-5'-phosphate did not affect the cell growth and gamma-aminobutyric acid production of Lb. brevis NCL912. Temperature, pH and initial glutamate concentration had significant effects on the cell growth and gamma-aminobutyric acid production of Lb. brevis NCL912. The optimal temperature, pH and initial glutamate concentration were 30-35°C, 5.0 and 250-500 mM. In the following fed-batch fermentations, temperature, pH and initial glutamate concentration were fixed as 32°C, 5.0 and 400 mM. 280.70 g (1.5 mol) and 224.56 g (1.2 mol) glutamate were supplemented into the bioreactor at 12 h and 24 h, respectively. Under the selected fermentation conditions, gamma-aminobutyric acid was rapidly produced at the first 36 h and almost not produced after then. The gamma-aminobutyric acid concentration reached 1005.81 ± 47.88 mM, and the residual glucose and glutamate were 15.28 ± 0.51 g L-1 and 134.45 ± 24.22 mM at 48 h.
A simple and effective fed-batch fermentation method was developed for Lb. brevis NCL912 to produce gamma-aminobutyric acid. The results reveal that Lb. brevis NCL912 exhibits a great application potential in large-scale fermentation for the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid.
PMCID: PMC2996345  PMID: 21070676

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