The Combination of FucO and GSH Stimulates Bioethanol Production from Lignocellulosic Biomass
As energy resources get scarce, bioethanol production from lignocellulosic waste looks like a great alternative in terms of high energy yield and eco-friendliness. Due to their highly complex and rigid structure, lignocellulosic wastes need to be pretreated before they can be fermented. The process causes toxic byproducts such as furfural and 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural that inhibit the ethanol production and growth rate of bacteria, E. coli ethanologenic strain KO11. By integrating GSH and FucO genes into KO11 bacteria, we aim to enhance bioethanol production. Since furfural and HMF act as thiol-reactive electrophiles, cellular glutathione levels get depleted in their presence, leading to the accumulation of reactive oxygen species. Thus, overexpression of GSH increases cellular growth rates and lifespan. On the other hand, the expression of fucO results in the formation of NADH dependent furfural oxidoreductase which degrades furfural into furfuryl alcohol resulting in a higher rate of growth and ethanol fermentation.