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Physiological and comparative genomic analysis of new isolated yeasts Spathaspora sp. JA1 and Meyerozyma caribbica JA9 reveal insights into xylitol production

Trichez, Débora, Steindorff, Andrei S, Soares, Carlos E V F, Formighieri, Eduardo F, Almeida, João R M
FEMS yeast research 2019 v.19 no.4
Meyerozyma caribbica, Meyerozyma guilliermondii, biochemical pathways, biomass, cerrado, ecosystems, enzyme activity, enzymes, genomics, hydrolysates, nucleotide sequences, renewable resources, sugarcane, xylitol, xylose, yeasts
Xylitol is a five-carbon polyol of economic interest that can be produced by microbial xylose reduction from renewable resources. The current study sought to investigate the potential of two yeast strains, isolated from Brazilian Cerrado biome, in the production of xylitol as well as the genomic characteristics that may impact this process. Xylose conversion capacity by the new isolates Spathaspora sp. JA1 and Meyerozyma caribbica JA9 was evaluated and compared with control strains on xylose and sugarcane biomass hydrolysate. Among the evaluated strains, Spathaspora sp. JA1 was the strongest xylitol producer, reaching product yield and productivity as high as 0.74 g/g and 0.20 g/(L.h) on xylose, and 0.58 g/g and 0.44 g/(L.h) on non-detoxified hydrolysate. Genome sequences of Spathaspora sp. JA1 and M. caribbica JA9 were obtained and annotated. Comparative genomic analysis revealed that the predicted xylose metabolic pathway is conserved among the xylitol-producing yeasts Spathaspora sp. JA1, M. caribbica JA9 and Meyerozyma guilliermondii, but not in Spathaspora passalidarum, an efficient ethanol-producing yeast. Xylitol-producing yeasts showed strictly NADPH-dependent xylose reductase and NAD⁺-dependent xylitol-dehydrogenase activities. This imbalance of cofactors favors the high xylitol yield shown by Spathaspora sp. JA1, which is similar to the most efficient xylitol producers described so far.