Bioethanol a microbial biofuel metabolite; new insights of yeasts metabolic engineering.
Scarcity of the non-renewable energy sources, global warming, environmental pollution, and raising the cost of petroleum are the motive for the development of renewable, eco-friendly fuels production with low costs. Bioethanol production is one of the promising materials that can subrogate the petroleum oil, and it is considered recently as a clean liquid fuel or a neutral carbon. Diverse microorganisms such as yeasts and bacteria are able to produce bioethanol on a large scale, which can satisfy our daily needs with cheap and applicable methods. Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Pichia stipitis are two of the pioneer yeasts in ethanol production due to their abilities to produce a high amount of ethanol. The recent focus is directed towards lignocellulosic biomass that contains 30–50% cellulose and 20–40% hemicellulose, and can be transformed into glucose and fundamentally xylose after enzymatic hydrolysis. For this purpose, a number of various approaches have been used to engineer different pathways for improving the bioethanol production with simultaneous fermentation of pentose and hexoses sugars in the yeasts. These approaches include metabolic and flux analysis, modeling and expression analysis, followed by targeted deletions or the overexpression of key genes. In this review, we highlight and discuss the current status of yeasts genetic engineering for enhancing bioethanol production, and the conditions that influence bioethanol production.