Debaryomyces nepalensis NCYC 3413, halotolerant yeast isolated from rotten apple, was capable of utilizing components of hemicellulose hydrolysate such as glucose, galactose, mannose, xylose and arabinose. The organism utilizes xylose as a sole carbon source and produces xylitol. The Plackett-Burman design was applied to determine the specific medium components affecting xylitol production and found that xylose, K2HPO4, and ZnSO4 were critical in augmenting xylitol production. These significant parameters were further optimized using response surface methodology. The optimum concentrations of xylose, K2HPO4, and ZnSO4 were found to be 100 g/l, 10.6 g/l and 8.9 mg/l respectively. Under these optimal conditions the xylitol production increased from 27 g/l to 36 g/l with a yield of 0.44 g/g (57% increase in total yield). In addition, formation of the by product (glycerol) was decreased under optimal conditions.
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