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Effects of Glucose Concentration on Ethanol Fermentation of White-Rot Fungus Phanerochaete sordida YK-624 Under Aerobic Conditions

Mori, Toshio, Kondo, Ojiro, Kawagishi, Hirokazu, Hirai, Hirofumi
Current microbiology 2019 v.76 no.3 pp. 263-269
Phanerochaete sordida, aerobic conditions, enzymes, ethanol, ethanol fermentation, ethanol production, gene expression, glucose, mycelium, pyruvic acid, white-rot fungi, yeasts
White-rot fungi are microorganisms capable of ethanol fermentation; however, the specific conditions activating ethanol fermentation are unclear in contrast to fermentation by yeasts. In this study, we investigated the conditions favoring ethanol fermentation by the white-rot fungus Phanerochaete sordida YK-624, which is able to produce ethanol from woody material. In aerobic stationary cultivation with various concentrations of glucose (0.8–33 g/l), the fungus produced ethanol in media containing an initial glucose concentration of 2.8 g/l or higher. The amount of glucose consumption, mycelial weight, and ethanol production on the second day of culture increased in a concentration-dependent manner at low glucose concentrations; however, these were saturated at high concentrations. Biomass yields (growth/glucose consumption) were decreased until the initial glucose concentration increased to 6.0 g/l, after which the biomass yields showed constant values at higher concentrations (12–33 g/l). On the other hand, ethanol yields increased with decreasing biomass yields. In short shaking cultivation using mycelial suspension, trace amounts of instantaneous aerobic ethanol production were observed with 1.1 and 2.1 g/l glucose, but the relative gene expression levels of key enzymes at the pyruvate branch point showed no significant differences between ethanol production and non-production conditions. From these experimental results, it appears that the white-rot fungus P. sordida YK-624 produces ethanol due to overflow in sugar metabolism under aerobic conditions, although P. sordida YK-624 prioritizes glucose utilization for respiratory growth.