Improved ethanol production in the presence of cadmium ions by a Saccharomyces cerevisiae transformed with a novel cadmium-resistance gene DvCRP1

The DvCRP1 gene obtained from Dunaliella viridis is a cadmium-resistance gene that induces cadmium accumulation in microbial and plant cells. In the present study, Saccharomyces cerevisiae was used as a model system to investigate the effect of DvCRP1 on both cadmium detoxification and ethanol production. Inhibitory effects of cadmium (50–300 µmol/L) on growth (29–92%), glucose consumption (23–89%), and ethanol production (17–92%) were observed at 24 h by S. cerevisiae. DvCRP1 alleviated the inhibitory effect of cadmium, with increase in the ethanol production. The established mathematical model showed that the initial inoculation concentration, cadmium concentration, and transformation of DvCRP1 were the most important factors for cell growth, glucose consumption, and ethanol production. Cadmium detoxification of yeast was also enhanced by increasing the initial concentration of yeast cells. Transforming with DvCRP1 further enhanced detoxification, especially at high cadmium concentrations. Transforming with DvCRP1 further enhanced detoxification, especially at high cadmium concentrations (200 µmol/L). The present results evidenced the potential of the insertion of the DvCRP1 gene into yeast for use in bio-refineries during fermentation of heavy metals-contaminated substrates. In addition, this is a promising method for phytoremediation of agricultural soils highly contaminated by heavy metals.