Cofermentation of Glucose, Xylose, and Arabinose by Mixed Cultures of Two Genetically Engineered Zymomonas mobilis Strains

Ali Mohagheghi, Kent Evans, Mark Finkelstein, Min Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus Citations


Cofermentation of xylose and arabinose, in addition to glucose, is critical for complete bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass, such as agricultural residues and herbaceous energy crops, to ethanol. A factorial design experiment was used to evaluate the cofermentation of glucose, xylose, and arabinose with mixed cultures of two genetically engineered Zymomonas mobilis strains (one ferments xylose and the other arabinose). The pH range studied was 5.0-6.0, and the temperature range was 30-37°C. The individual sugar concentrations used were 30 g/L glucose, 30 g/L xylose, and 20 g/L arabinose. The optimal cofermentation conditions obtained by data analysis, using Design Expert software, were pH 5.85 and temperalture 31.5°C. The cofermentation process yield at optimal conditions was 72.5% of theoritical maximum. The results showed that neither the arabinose strain nor arabinose affected the performance of the xylose strain; however, both xylose strain and xylose had a significant effect on the performance of the arabinose strain. Although cofermentation of all three sugars is achieved by the mixed cultures, there is a preferential order of sugar utilization. Glucose is used rapidly, then xylose, followed by arabinose.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)285-299
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology - Part A Enzyme Engineering and Biotechnology
StatePublished - 1998

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-580-22889


  • Arabinose
  • Cofermentation
  • Ethanol
  • Mixed culture fermentation
  • Recombinant Zymomonas
  • Xylose


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