Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 363–369 | Cite as

Engineering the cytosolic NADH availability in lager yeast to improve the aroma profile of beer

  • Xin Xu
  • Min Bao
  • Chengtuo Niu
  • Jinjing Wang
  • Chunfeng Liu
  • Feiyun Zheng
  • Yongxian Li
  • Qi LiEmail author
Original Research Paper



To improve the aroma profile of beer by using metabolic engineering to increase the availability of cytosolic NADH in lager yeast.


To alter NADH levels in lager yeast, the native FDH1 (YOR388C) encoding NAD+-dependent formate dehydrogenase was overexpressed in the yeast strain M14, yielding strain M-FDH1. This led to a simultaneous increase of NADH availability and NADH/NAD+ ratio in the M-FDH1 strain during fermentation. At the end of the main fermentation period, ethanol production by strain M-FDH1 was decreased by 13.2%, while glycerol production was enhanced by 129.4%, compared to the parental strain respectively. The production of esters and fusel alcohols by strains M14 and M-FDH1 was similar. By contrast, strain M-FDH1 generally produced less organic acids and off-flavor components than strain M14, improving the beer aroma.


Increased NADH availability led to rerouting of the carbon flux toward NADH-consuming pathways and accelerated the NADH-dependent reducing reactions in yeast, greatly impacting the formation of aroma compounds and improving the beer aroma.


Acetaldehyde Brewing yeast Ethanol reduction Metabolic engineering NADH 



This study was financially supported by the National Science Foundation (Nos. 31571942, 31771963, and 31601558), Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD), Program of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities (No. 111-2-06), Postgraduate Research & Practice Innovation Program of Jiangsu Province (KYCX18_1790), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (JUSRP51306A, JUSRP51402A, and JUDCF13008).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Industrial Biotechnology, Ministry of Education, School of BiotechnologyJiangnan UniversityWuxiChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Food Science and TechnologyJiangnan UniversityWuxiChina
  3. 3.School of BiotechnologyJiangnan UniversityWuxiChina

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