Mechanistic modeling of redox balance effects on the fermentation of eucalyptus wood-derived xylose to acetone-butanol-ethanol

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Acetone-butanol-ethanol, Eucalyptus wood, Mathematical modeling, Parameter estimation, Redox balance


A Michaelis-Menten-like kinetic model is proposed to simulate the effects of redox balance on Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 metabolism during fermentation of biomass-derived xylose to acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE). The model builds on previous metabolic kinetic models by introducing six mass balance differential equations for the redox pairs NADH/NAD+, NADPH/NADP+, and oxidized/reduced ferredoxin. Batch cultures were conducted using laboratory-grade or eucalyptus-derived xylose, and kinetic parameters were estimated by minimizing the difference between experimental (substrate, metabolites, and cell) and model results using a genetic optimization algorithm. The simulations agreed well with experimental data, and a sensitivity analysis showed that the rate of reoxidation of reduced ferredoxin used for NADPH regeneration is the most relevant reaction for the synthesis of acids and ABE. Furthermore, an increase in NADPH consumption due to the reduction of eucalyptus-derived furfural to furfuryl alcohol was only significant for the production of butanol. Differences in the values of the Michaelis-Menten constants, Km’s, depending on the xylose source, suggest that a decrease in the conversion rates of lactate to pyruvate and acetate to acetyl-CoA considerably affected the biosynthesis of butanol from eucalyptus-derived xylose. The proposed model was effective in assessing the effects of redox balance on ABE fermentation, suggesting its use for the design of metabolic engineering strategies to improve butanol synthesis from furfural-containing biomass hydrolysates.

Journal Title

Biochemical Engineering Journal




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