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Genome-edited Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains for improving fermented foods

 

While Cas9-based genome editing enabled precise and sophisticated genetic perturbations in conventional and non-conventional yeast strains, its applications for food fermentations have been extremely limited.

In order to improve quality and flavor of various yeast-fermented foods, US Researchers isolated and engineered a diploid or polyploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain (N1) which exhibits robust sugar fermentation, strong acid tolerance, and rapid gas production from Korean Nuruk. 

First, RGT2 and SNF3 coding for glucose sensors were deleted to increase respiration. A bread dough fermented with the N1 DELTA RGT2 DELTA SNF3 strain showed an 18% increased volume due to higher carbon dioxide production. Second, ASP3 coding for asparaginase was overexpressed and URE2 coding for a transcriptional factor of nitrogen catabolite repression (NCR) was deleted to increase asparagine consumption. When the N1 DELTAURE2:: PGPD-ASP3 strain was applied to a potato dough, asparagine was rapidly depleted in the dough, resulting in potato chips with negligible amounts of acrylamide. Third, the N1 DELTA URE2 strain was utilized to increase levels of the amino acids which provide a savory taste during rice wine fermentation.

The above genome-edited yeast strains contain no heterologous DNA. As such, they can be used to improve fermented foods with no subjection to GM regulation. This paper was published in Food Microbiology journal.

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