Super yeast, super fuel

A new strain of yeast, TMB3130, developed by evolutionary engineering can efficiently ferment pentose sugars, xylose and arabinose, from agricultural waste and hardwoods into ethanol. Marie Gorwa-Grauslund, from Lund University, Sweden, and colleagues, used recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce the new strain by introducing genes from bacteria and fungi that allow pentose metabolism. The research could lead to a simple way to produce second-generation biofuels that do not require a supply of virgin crop grown for fuel rather than food.