Incorporating sterols in the outer membrane of Yarrowia lipolytica makes it significantly more tolerant of ionic liquids.
Creating biofuels and other products from plant material is a complex process. Breaking down plant cells requires chemicals, among other things. Organic solvents like ionic liquids (ILs) represent one example. Scientists also need microbes such as yeast to convert the resulting plant material into biofuels and biochemicals. However, ILs often keep microbes from growing. Now, scientists have learned how one strain of yeast, Yarrowia lipolytica, strengthens its membranes. With stronger membranes, this yeast can better withstand ILs.
SC-33.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER
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