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author:("thyer, Jette")
1.  Comparing cellular performance of Yarrowia lipolytica during growth on glucose and glycerol in submerged cultivations 
AMB Express  2013;3:58.
Yarrowia lipolytica is an attractive host for sustainable bioprocesses due to its ability to utilize a variety of carbon substrates and convert them to a range of different product types (including lipids, organic acids and polyols) under specific conditions. Despite an increasing number of applications for this yeast, relatively few studies have focused on uptake and metabolism of carbon sources, and the metabolic basis for carbon flow to the different products. The focus of this work was quantification of the cellular performance of Y. lipolytica during growth on glycerol, glucose or a mixture of the two. Carbon substrate uptake rate, growth rate, oxygen utilisation (requirement and uptake rate) and polyol yields were estimated in batch cultivations at 1 litre scale. When glucose was used as the sole carbon and energy source, the growth rate was 0.24 h-1 and biomass and CO2 were the only products. Growth on glycerol proceeded at approximately 0.30 h-1, and the substrate uptake rate was 0.02 mol L-1 h-1 regardless of the starting glycerol concentration (10, 20 or 45 g L-1). Utilisation of glycerol was accompanied by higher oxygen uptake rates compared to glucose growth, indicating import of glycerol occurred initially via phosphorylation of glycerol into glycerol-3-phosphate. Based on these results it could be speculated that once oxygen limitation was reached, additional production of NADH created imbalance in the cofactor pools and the polyol formation observed could be a result of cofactor recycling to restore the balance in metabolism.
PMCID: PMC3852309  PMID: 24088397
Y. lipolytica; Glycerol; Submerged cultivation; Oxygen limitation; Polyols
2.  Identification of a Transcription Factor Controlling pH-Dependent Organic Acid Response in Aspergillus niger 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e50596.
Acid formation in Aspergillus niger is known to be subjected to tight regulation, and the acid production profiles are fine-tuned to respond to the ambient pH. Based on transcriptome data, putative trans-acting pH responding transcription factors were listed and through knock out studies, mutants exhibiting an oxalate overproducing phenotype were identified. The yield of oxalate was increased up to 158% compared to the wild type and the corresponding transcription factor was therefore entitled Oxalic Acid repression Factor, OafA. Detailed physiological characterization of one of the ΔoafA mutants, compared to the wild type, showed that both strains produced substantial amounts of gluconic acid, but the mutant strain was more efficient in re-uptake of gluconic acid and converting it to oxalic acid, particularly at high pH (pH 5.0). Transcriptional profiles showed that 241 genes were differentially expressed due to the deletion of oafA and this supported the argument of OafA being a trans-acting transcription factor. Furthermore, expression of two phosphoketolases was down-regulated in the ΔoafA mutant, one of which has not previously been described in fungi. It was argued that the observed oxalate overproducing phenotype was a consequence of the efficient re-uptake of gluconic acid and thereby a higher flux through glycolysis. This results in a lower flux through the pentose phosphate pathway, demonstrated by the down-regulation of the phosphoketolases. Finally, the physiological data, in terms of the specific oxygen consumption, indicated a connection between the oxidative phosphorylation and oxalate production and this was further substantiated through transcription analysis.
PMCID: PMC3520943  PMID: 23251373
3.  Differential proteomic analysis highlights metabolic strategies associated with balhimycin production in Amycolatopsis balhimycina chemostat cultivations 
Proteomics was recently used to reveal enzymes whose expression is associated with the production of the glycopeptide antibiotic balhimycin in Amycolatopsis balhimycina batch cultivations. Combining chemostat fermentation technology, where cells proliferate with constant parameters in a highly reproducible steady-state, and differential proteomics, the relationships between physiological status and metabolic pathways during antibiotic producing and non-producing conditions could be highlighted.
Two minimal defined media, one with low Pi (0.6 mM; LP) and proficient glucose (12 g/l) concentrations and the other one with high Pi (1.8 mM) and limiting (6 g/l; LG) glucose concentrations, were developed to promote and repress antibiotic production, respectively, in A. balhimycina chemostat cultivations. Applying the same dilution rate (0.03 h-1), both LG and LP chemostat cultivations showed a stable steady-state where biomass production yield coefficients, calculated on glucose consumption, were 0.38 ± 0.02 and 0.33 ± 0.02 g/g (biomass dry weight/glucose), respectively. Notably, balhimycin was detected only in LP, where quantitative RT-PCR revealed upregulation of selected bal genes, devoted to balhimycin biosynthesis, and of phoP, phoR, pstS and phoD, known to be associated to Pi limitation stress response. 2D-Differential Gel Electrophoresis (DIGE) and protein identification, performed by mass spectrometry and computer-assisted 2 D reference-map matching, demonstrated a differential expression for proteins involved in many metabolic pathways or cellular processes, including central carbon and phosphate metabolism. Interestingly, proteins playing a key role in generation of primary metabolism intermediates and cofactors required for balhimycin biosynthesis were upregulated in LP. Finally, a bioinformatic approach showed PHO box-like regulatory elements in the upstream regions of nine differentially expressed genes, among which two were tested by electrophoresis mobility shift assays (EMSA).
In the two chemostat conditions, used to generate biomass for proteomic analysis, mycelia grew with the same rate and with similar glucose-biomass conversion efficiencies. Global gene expression analysis revealed a differential metabolic adaptation, highlighting strategies for energetic supply and biosynthesis of metabolic intermediates required for biomass production and, in LP, for balhimycin biosynthesis. These data, confirming a relationship between primary metabolism and antibiotic production, could be used to increase antibiotic yield both by rational genetic engineering and fermentation processes improvement.
PMCID: PMC3004843  PMID: 21110849

Results 1-3 (3)