Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Vol.148, No.1-3, 199-209, 2008
Fermentation kinetics for xylitol production by a Pichia stipitis D-Xylulokinase mutant previously grown in spent sulfite liquor
Spent sulfite pulping liquor (SSL) contains lignin, which is present as lignosulfonate, and hemicelluloses that are present as hydrolyzed carbohydrates. To reduce the biological oxygen demand of SSL associated with dissolved sugars, we studied the capacity of Pichia stipitis FPL-YS30 (xyl3 Delta) to convert these sugars into useful products. FPL-YS30 produces a negligible amount of ethanol while converting xylose into xylitol. This work describes the xylose fermentation kinetics of yeast strain P.stipitis FPL-YS30. Yeast was grown in rich medium supplemented with different carbon sources: glucose, xylose, or ammonia-base SSL. The SSL and glucose-acclimatized cells showed similar maximum specific growth rates (0.146 h(-1)). The highest xylose consumption at the beginning of the fermentation process occurred using cells precultivated in xylose, which showed relatively high specific activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (EC 184.108.40.206). However, the maximum specific rates of xylose consumption (0.19 g(xylose)/g(cel) h) and xylitol production (0.059 g(xylitol)/g(cel) h) were obtained with cells acclimatized in glucose, in which the ratio between xylose reductase (EC 220.127.116.11) and xylitol dehydrogenase (EC 18.104.22.168) was kept at higher level (0.82). In this case, xylitol production (31.6 g/l) was 19 and 8% higher than in SSL and xylose-acclimatized cells, respectively. Maximum glycerol (6.26 g/l) and arabitol (0.206 g/l) production were obtained using SSL and xylose-acclimatized cells, respectively. The medium composition used for the yeast precultivation directly reflected their xylose fermentation performance. The SSL could be used as a carbon source for cell production. However, the inoculum condition to obtain a high cell concentration in SSL needs to be optimized.