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Genetic engineering to alter carbon flux for various higher alcohol productions by Saccharomyces cerevisiae for Chinese Baijiu fermentation

Li, Wei, Chen, Shi-Jia, Wang, Jian-Hui, Zhang, Cui-Ying, Shi, Yu, Guo, Xue-Wu, Chen, Ye-Fu, Xiao, Dong-Guang
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2018 v.102 no.4 pp. 1783-1795
1-propanol, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, alcoholic beverages, carbon, diploidy, ethanol production, fermentation, flavor, genetic engineering, haploidy, isoamyl alcohol, mutants, phenylethyl alcohol, threonine, yeasts
Higher alcohols significantly influence the quality and flavor profiles of Chinese Baijiu. ILV1-encoded threonine deaminase, LEU1-encoded α-isopropylmalate dehydrogenase, and LEU2-encoded β-isopropylmalate dehydrogenase are involved in the production of higher alcohols. In this work, ILV1, LEU1, and LEU2 deletions in α-type haploid, a-type haploid, and diploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains and ILV1, LEU1, and LEU2 single-allele deletions in diploid strains were constructed to examine the effects of these alterations on the metabolism of higher alcohols. Results showed that different genetic engineering strategies influence carbon flux and higher alcohol metabolism in different manners. Compared with the parental diploid strain, the ILV1 double-allele-deletion diploid mutant produced lower concentrations of n-propanol, active amyl alcohol, and 2-phenylethanol by 30.33, 35.58, and 11.71%, respectively. Moreover, the production of isobutanol and isoamyl alcohol increased by 326.39 and 57.6%, respectively. The LEU1 double-allele-deletion diploid mutant exhibited 14.09% increased n-propanol, 33.74% decreased isoamyl alcohol, and 13.21% decreased 2-phenylethanol production, which were similar to those of the LEU2 mutant. Furthermore, the LEU1 and LEU2 double-allele-deletion diploid mutants exhibited 41.72 and 52.18% increased isobutanol production, respectively. The effects of ILV1, LEU1, and LEU2 deletions on the production of higher alcohols by α-type and a-type haploid strains were similar to those of double-allele deletion in diploid strains. Moreover, the isobutanol production of the ILV1 single-allele-deletion diploid strain increased by 27.76%. Variations in higher alcohol production by the mutants are due to the carbon flux changes in yeast metabolism. This study could provide a valuable reference for further research on higher alcohol metabolism and future optimization of yeast strains for alcoholic beverages.