Tailoring thermotolerant yeasts for more sustainable, eco-efficient and competitive industrial fermentations
Acronym: YeastTempTation

- Jose Manuel Guillamon - National Research Council (CSIC), Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA) - Spain
- Walter M. van Gulik - Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) - Netherlands
- José María Heras - Lallemand Bio, S.L. - Spain
- Maria Manuel Dantas - UNICER - Portugal
- José Antonio Teixeira – University of Minho - Portugal

Production of useful products through microbial fermentation is a core activity of industrial biotechnology, and yeasts are one of the most widely used microorganisms in industrial biotechnology. This industry spends huge amounts of energy to cool or heat these processes in order to fine-tune temperature as closely as possible to the optimum growth temperature of the fermentative strains. Notwithstanding, this optimum temperature quite often does not very well match the cost-effectivity or quality of the end product. Thus, new processing concepts demand greater efficiency and expose microbes to extreme conditions. Adaptation and tolerance of yeast strains to temperatures beyond the optimum range is crucial for economic and eco-efficient production processes for new and traditional fermentations. Our proposal attempts to address a systems biology approach to identify the key pathways, enzymes and genes related to a particular phenotype adapted to grow at different temperatures. From an industrial point, such knowledge is important to come up with better metabolic engineering strategies that consider the impact of novel genes and pathways on cellular economics to develop cost-effective bio-based processes. In line with this, we will design rational genetic improvement strategies to obtain more robust and adapted yeast strains to grow and ferment at low and high temperatures, with benefits for different fermentation processes. This will be put into practice on industrial scale by our industrial partners Lallemand and UNICER. Therefore, the main general aim of this project is the generation of improved thermotolerant yeast strains and their application to industrial fermentation processes (wine, beer, cider and bioethanol).