The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was amplified for the enzyme fumarase by cloning the single nuclear gene downstream of a strong promoter. The overproducing strain converted fumaric acid to l-malic acid at a rate of 65 mM g-1 h-1 in free cell experiments, and approximately 87% of the fumaric acid was converted to l-malic acid within 45 min. Activity was dependent on the addition of surfactant to the medium, and minimal activity was seen with the wild-type yeast strain. The constructed strain was immobilized in agarose beads (2.4 mm mean diameter) and within agarose microspheres (193 and 871 μm mean diameter). The rate of bioconversion increased with decreasing bead diameter, with similar rates observed with the 193-μm diameter microspheres to that achieved with the free cells. The presence of surfactant was essential for initial activity of the immobilized cells; however, high activity was observed in subsequent experiments in the absence of surfactant. Stable activities over a 48-h period were maintained within the large-diameter agarose beads, while decreasing activities were observed within the agarose microspheres.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
One of the authors (R.J.N.) served as a Forscheimer Visiting Professor under the sponsorship of the Kay Foundation of Biotechnology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which also supported this study.
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae
- l-malic acid