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Ethanol Tolerant Yeast for Improved Production of Ethanol from Biomass

Inventors: Audrey Gasch, Jeffrey Lewis

Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center

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Technology Marketing SummaryEthanol production from cellulosic biomass can make a significant contribution toward decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels. However, the fermentation of biomass can be problematic. One bottleneck in this process is the toxicity of ethanol to microbes such as the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.DescriptionUW–Madison researchers have developed a method of using the Elongase I (ELO1) gene to impart ethanol tolerance to yeast. ELO1 is an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids in yeast. This gene could be incorporated into an industrial yeast strain to increase the amount of ethanol produced from biomass.Benefits
  • Makes yeast less sensitive to ethanol
  • Increased ethanol tolerance allows more ethanol to be produced per batch, decreasing costs and energy consumption
  • Could be incorporated into an industrial fermentation yeast strain
Applications and Industries
  • Production of ethanol from biomass
  • Alcohol production
  • Manufacture of frozen bread dough
More Information

The Inventors
Audrey Gasch

Lewis J.A., Elkon I.M., McGee M.A., Higbee A.J. and Gasch A.P. 2010. Exploiting Natural Variation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae to Identify Genes for Increased Ethanol Resistance. Genetics 186, 1197-1205.

Intellectual Property Status
Patent applied for. 

Tech Fields
Cleantech: Biofuels & Renewable Fuels

This work was funded by the DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (DOE BER Office of Science DE-FC02-07ER64494).

Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
P100228US01DevelopmentAvailable - Patent Pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.06/10/201106/01/2011

Contact GLBRC About This Technology

To: Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation<>