EBI Personnel Directory Xu, Haiqing
This program addresses issues in developing optimal microbial strains for producing cellulosic biofuels: efficient fermentation of the mixed sugars present in cellulosic hydrolysates under the presence of fermentation inbitors. Cellulosic biomass mainly consists of two major sugars (glucose and xylose) but there is no optimal microorganism which has the capacity of fermenting xylose as well as glucose with high yield and productivity. Also, the generation of inhibitory compounds during pretreatment processes of biomass is one of the major barriers impeding the commercialization of biofuels from cellulosic biomass. The goal of the program is to develop engineered yeast strains capable of simultaneously fermenting mixed sugars (glucose, cellodextrin, and xylose) under the presence of fermentation inhibitors in lignocellulosic hydrolysates. Genetic/genomics tools for engineering industrial yeast strains and genetic bases of desirable traits are being generated.