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Yeasts of the Spathaspora clade have the ability to convert d-xylose to ethanol and/or xylitol. This is an important trait, as these yeasts may be used to produce bioethanol from lignocellulosic biomass, or as a source of new d-xylose metabolism genes for recombinant industrial strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The core group of the genus Spathaspora has 22 species, both formally described and not yet described. Other species, such as Sp. allomyrinae, Candida alai, C. insectamans, C. lyxosophila, C. sake, Sp. boniae and C. subhashii are weakly associated with this clade, based on LSU rRNA gene D1/D2 sequence analyses. Spathaspora passalidarum, Sp. arborariae, Sp. gorwiae, and Sp. hagerdaliae produce mostly ethanol from d-xylose, whereas the remaining species within the Spathaspora clade already tested for this property may be considered xylitol producers. Among the d-xylose-fermenting Spathaspora species, Sp. passalidarum is the best ethanol producer, displaying high ethanol yields and productivities when cultured in media supplemented with this pentose under oxygen-limited or anaerobic conditions. The species also exhibits rapid d-xylose consumption and the ability to ferment glucose, xylose, and cellobiose simultaneously. These characteristics suggest that Sp. passalidarum is a potential candidate for domestication and use in the fermentation of lignocellulosic materials.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Yeast (Chichester, England)
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