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Keywords:

  • Ethanol fermentation;
  • Gene expression;
  • Redox potential;
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae;
  • Very high gravity

Abstract

Redox potential (ORP) plays a pivotal role in yeast viability and ethanol production during very-high-gravity (VHG) ethanol fermentation. In order to identify the correlation between redox potential profiles and gene expression patterns, global gene expression of Saccharomyces cerevisiae was investigated. Results indicated that significant changes in gene expression occurred at the periods of 0 - 6 h and 30 - 36 h, respectively. Changes noted in the period of 0 - 6 h were mainly related to carbohydrate metabolism. In contrast, gene expression variation at 30 - 36 h could be attributed primarily to stress response. Although CDC19 was down-regulated, expression of PYK2, PDC6 and ADH2 correlated inversely with ORP. Meanwhile, expression of GPD1 decreased due to the depletion of dissolved oxygen in the fermentation broth, but expression of GPD2 correlated with ORP. Transcription of genes encoding heat shock proteins was characterized by uphill, downhill, valley and plateau expression profiles, accordingly to specific function in stress response. These results highlight the role of ORP in modulating yeast physiology and metabolism under VHG conditions.