One direction to mitigate the climate change is the transformation from a fossil-based economy towards a biobased economy. Here, biomass is employed as raw material and biochemical conversion plays a central role in the production of the key chemicals needed in society. A prerequisite is the availability of robust microorganisms to be used in the conversion. Microbial robustness refers to the cells ability to perform under challenging conditions that prevail in industrial processes. Here, using yeast as a the microbial platform, both natural yeast diversity and laboratory evolved strains that exhibit different fitness will be a starting point for identifying molecular traits behind microbial robustness. A molecular understanding of microbial robustness will be achieved in the research program and this insight will guide the design of the urgently needed biocatalysts. Molecular markers that can monitor the cellular status will also be identified – an important tool to follow fermentations.
Photo: Martina Butorac