Yeast as a production platform in bioreflneries: Conversion of agricultural residues into value-added products

Alvaro Cristobal Sarramian, Denise Atzmüller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In contrast to a petroleum-based economy, which relies on the unlimited presence of fossil fuels, a biobased economy utilizes a broad spectrum of natural crops and biomass as raw substrates for the production of valuable materials. Biorefineries represent a promising approach for the co-production of bioenergy (biofuels, biogas) and value-added products (biochemicals, biomaterials, food). Within Europe, wheat straw represents the major crop residue and has been extensively considered as a promising feedstock in the biorefining process. Firstly, wheat straw is hydrolysed to obtain a sugar solution that is further converted into the desired product in a biocatalytic manner. Microbial fermentation is the core component of biorefineries and yeast, as for instance Candida guilliermondii, is an effective production platform for both, biofuels and biochemicals. One limiting aspect in using yeast in the biorefineiy approach is the presence of inhibitors in liguocellulosic hydrolysates, such as acetic acid or furfural, influencing cellular growth and diverse metabolic processes. In order to overcome this problem, several genetic engineering approaches are used to increase yeast resistance towards these inhibitors and to enhance the overall production. In this paper, we summarized: 1) the pretreatment technologies for wheat straw bioconversion; 2) the Candida guilliermondii genetic engineering technologies and their biotechnological potential. In conclusion, biorefineries are a crucial factor in the transition towards a biobased and circular economy, and the implementation of yeast into this system offers a great opportunity to develop innovative strategies for a sustainable production in an environmentally friendly and economically feasible manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-388
Number of pages12
JournalAgronomy Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • biorefinery
  • wheat straw
  • genetic engineering
  • yeast
  • Candida guilliermondii
  • Yeast
  • Wheat straw
  • Biorefinery
  • Genetic engineering


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