Magnesium limitation and its role in apparent toxicity of ethanol during yeast fermentation.


The rate of ethanol production per milligram of cell protein begins to decline in the early stage of batch fermentation before high concentrations of ethanol have accumulated. In yeast extract-peptone medium (20% glucose), this initial decline appears to be related to growth and to result in part from a nutrient deficiency. The addition of yeast extract, peptone, and ashed preparations of these restored the ability of glucose-reconstituted medium (in which cells had been previously grown) to support vigorous growth. Magnesium was identified as the active component. Supplementing fermentations with 0.5 mM magnesium prolonged exponential growth, resulting in increased yeast cell mass. The addition of magnesium also reduced the decline in fermentative activity (micromoles of CO2 evolved per hour per milligram of protein) during the completion of batch fermentations. These two effects reduced the time required for the conversion of 20% glucose into ethanol by 1/3 with no measurable loss in ethanol yield (98% of theoretical maximum yield). It is possible that some of the reported beneficial effects of complex nutrients (soy flour and yeast extract) for ethanol production also result from the correction of a simple inorganic ion deficiency, such as magnesium.

Documentos Relacionados