Reference: Khamwachirapithak P, et al. (2023) Optimizing Ethanol Production in Saccharomyces cerevisiae at Ambient and Elevated Temperatures through Machine Learning-Guided Combinatorial Promoter Modifications. ACS Synth Biol 12(10):2897-2908

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Abstract


Bioethanol has gained popularity in recent decades as an ecofriendly alternative to fossil fuels due to increasing concerns about global climate change. However, economically viable ethanol fermentation remains a challenge. High-temperature fermentation can reduce production costs, but Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strains normally ferment poorly under high temperatures. In this study, we present a machine learning (ML) approach to optimize bioethanol production in S. cerevisiae by fine-tuning the promoter activities of three endogenous genes. We created 216 combinatorial strains of S. cerevisiae by replacing native promoters with five promoters of varying strengths to regulate ethanol production. Promoter replacement resulted in a 63% improvement in ethanol production at 30 °C. We created an ML-guided workflow by utilizing XGBoost to train high-performance models based on promoter strengths and cellular metabolite concentrations obtained from ethanol production of 216 combinatorial strains at 30 °C. This strategy was then applied to optimize ethanol production at 40 °C, where we selected 31 strains for experimental fermentation. This reduced experimental load led to a 7.4% increase in ethanol production in the second round of the ML-guided workflow. Our study offers a comprehensive library of promoter strength modifications for key ethanol production enzymes, showcasing how machine learning can guide yeast strain optimization and make bioethanol production more cost-effective and efficient. Furthermore, we demonstrate that metabolic engineering processes can be accelerated and optimized through this approach.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Authors
Khamwachirapithak P, Sae-Tang K, Mhuantong W, Tanapongpipat S, Zhao XQ, Liu CG, Wei DQ, Champreda V, Runguphan W
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