Analysis of the response of the cell membrane of Saccharomyces cerevisiae during the detoxification of common lignocellulosic inhibitors

Pau Cabañeros Lopez, Chuantao Peng, Nils Arneborg, Helena Junicke, Krist V. Gernaey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

118 Downloads (Pure)


Gaining an in-depth understanding of the response of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to the different inhibitors generated during the pretreatment of lignocellulosic material is driving the development of new strains with higher inhibitor tolerances. The objective of this study is to assess, using flow cytometry, how three common inhibitors (vanillin, furfural, and acetic acid) affect the membrane potential, the membrane permeability and the concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during the different fermentations. The membrane potential decreased during the detoxification phase and reflected on the different mechanisms of the toxicity of the inhibitors. While vanillin and furfural caused a metabolic inhibition and a gradual depolarization, acetic acid toxicity was related to fast acidification of the cytosol, causing an immediate depolarization. In the absence of acetic acid, ethanol increased membrane permeability, indicating a possible acquired tolerance to ethanol due to an adaptive response to acetic acid. The intracellular ROS concentration also increased in the presence of the inhibitors, indicating oxidative stress. Measuring these features with flow cytometry allows a real-time assessment of the stress of a cell culture, which can be used in the development of new yeast strains and to design new propagation strategies to pre-adapt the cell cultures to the inhibitors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6853
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http:// creat iveco mmons. org/ licen ses/ by/4. 0/.


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of the response of the cell membrane of Saccharomyces cerevisiae during the detoxification of common lignocellulosic inhibitors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this