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Group of Bioconversion of Carbohydrates (GBC)
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Head of laboratory, Leading Researcher 

Dr.biol.  Armands Vigants


Phone: +371 26587528

Researcher ,

Ph.D student 

Jekaterina Martynova

Researcher  Rita Scherbaka

Researcher, PhD Student Kristiana Kovtuna

The main topics of our research

Biotechnological  conversion of carbohydrate containing substrates to valuable products.

Biotechnological application of non-conventional yeasts (Kluyveromyces spp. ):

·         Cheese whey  lactose  bioconversion to bioethanol , yeast biomass

·         Inulin bioconversion

·         Production of phenylethanol

Biosynthesis of  prebiotics ( polifructans, fructooligosaccharides, galactoligosaccharides)


Biotechnological application  of  bacteria Zymomonas mobilis


2017-2018.  Project – contract work for company Baltic Dairy Board  Ltd. “Experimental and analytical services for research of galactooligosaccharides (GOS) biosynthesis”. Contract Nr: A69-DL/554.

2016 -2017.  ERDF project of Center for Competence in Smart Materials and Technologies( “Improvement of controlled enzymatic hydrolysis process for the production of highly valuable whey and milk protein hydrolysates”.

2014-2015.  ERDF  project   „Application of non-conventional yeasts for improvement of bioethanol production from inulin containing raw materials – biotechnological and systems biology aproach. Nr. 2DP/, LU  Nr. ESS2014/171

2014-2015. ERDF Industry research project of Environment, Bioenergetics and Biotechnology Competence centre „  The research of improvements of composition  of  non-conventional yeasts biomass and its based products  obtained by fermentation of lactose containing substrates.” project Nr.1.20  ,  KC/, L-KC-11-0005.

2014. ERDF industry research project of Environment, Bioenergetics and Biotechnology Competence centre „The improvement of industrial potential of yeasts Kluyveromyces and studies of biomass processing methods in bioconversion of cheese whey" project Nr.1.8 , KC/, L-KC-11-0005.

2013.  ERDF industry research project of Environment, Bioenergetics and Biotechnology Competence centre „Bioconversion of milk processing by-product, i.e., whey, into ethanol and study of opportunities for by-product processing” project Nr.1.11  ,  KC/, L-KC-11-0005

2010-2012. Participation in ESF project „Establishment of Latvian interdisciplinary interunivesity scientific group of systems biology”, sub-activity „Co-fermentation of sucrose and  hydrolytic enzymes by Z.mobilis”.  Project deals with modeling „ in silico”of  metabolics pathways of Saccharomyces cerevisiae ans Zymomonas mobilis.

2005 -2008. Project “Biosynthesis of valuable products of Zymomonas mobilis by levansucrase and glucose-fructose oxidoreductase – influence of physico-chemical factors on stability and activity of enzymes” supported by Latvian Council of Science (Nr. 05.1523).

2004-2005. Market oriented project „Application of Latvian apples for production of fermented beverages” supported by Ministry of Education and Science Republic of Latvia (TOP 04-49).

2001 -2004.  "Investigation of catalytic properties of Zymomonas mobilis levansucrase; enzymatic bioconversion of sucrose". supported by Latvian Council of Science (Nr. 01.0038). 


A. Pentjuss, E. Stalidzans, J. Liepins, A. Kokina, J. Martynova, P. Zikmanis, I. Mozga, R. Scherbaka, H. Hartman, M. G. Poolman, D. A. Fell, A. Vigants (2017) “Model-based biotechnological potential analysis of Kluyveromyces marxianus central metabolism” Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology,  44 (8): 1177 – 1190

Jekaterina Martynova, Martins Mednis, Armands Vigants, Peteris Zikmanis (2017) “Kinetic modeling of ethanol fermentation by yeast Kluyveromyces marxianus from lactose- and inulin- containing substrates” Engineering for Rural Development: 16th International Scientific Conference Proceedings Jelgava: Latvia University of Agriculture, 16: 88 – 97:

Martynova J, Kokina A , Liepins  J, Vigants A ( 2016) Utilization of different carbohydrates by various Kluyveromyces marxianus strains.   JOURNAL OF BIOTECHNOLOGY , 231: S62-S62 Supplement: S

Patetko A, Silins R, Scherbaka R, Martinova J, Vigants, A (2016) 2-Phenylethanol production by Kluyveromyces marxianus on glucose and lactose substrates. JOURNAL OF BIOTECHNOLOGY , 231: S62-S63 Supplement: S

Vigants A, Martynova J, Kovtuna K, Kokina A, Liepins J (2016) Whey lactose bioconversion to valuable products by non-conventional yeasts Kluyveromyces marxianus JOURNAL OF BIOTECHNOLOGY , 231: S7-S7 Supplement: S

Martynova J, Kokina A, Kibilds J, Liepins J, Scerbaka R, Vigants A.( 2016) Effects of acetate on Kluyveromyces marxianus DSM 5422 growth and metabolism. APPL. MICROBIOL BIOPTECHNOL  , 100: 4585-4594

J Lukjanenko,   K Kovtuna, M Grube,   A Vigants (2015) Enhancement of protein content in Kluyveromyces marxianus biomass produced on cheese whey lactose. J BIOTECHNOL  208  (Supplement):  76-76

J Lukjanenko,    K Kovtuna,    R Scherbaka,  A Vigants (2014) Bioethanol and biomass production by Kluyveromyces marxianus during lactose fermentation at different salts and substrate concentrations. J BIOTECHNOL  185 ( Supplement):  122-122

A Vigants    J Lukjanenko,   M Grube, J. Liepins (2014) The influence of fermentation conditions on biomass composition during ethanol biosynthesis from cheese whey lactose concentrate by Kluyveromyces marxianus  J BIOTECHNOL  185 ( Supplement):122-122

A Vigants, D Upite, R Scherbaka, J Lukjanenko, R Ionina (2013) An influence of ethanol and temperature on products formation by different preparations of Zymomonas mobilis extracellular levansucrase. FOLIA MICROBIOLOGICA 58: 75-80

Visnapuu T, Mardo K, Mosoarca C, Zamfir AD, Vigants A, Alamae T. (2011) Levansucrases from Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato and P. chlororaphis subsp. aurantiaca: substrate specificity, polymerizing properties and usage of different acceptors for fructosylation.  J BIOTECHNOL. 155: 338-349

Lukjanenko J, Scherbaka R, Vigants A (2010) Buckwheat based substrate fermentation - possibilities for non-traditional alcoholic beverage production, J BIOTECHNOL  150 (Supplement): 311-311.

Lukjanenko J, Zikmanis P, Scherbaka R, Jonina R, Vigants A (2010)  Ethanol production improvement in Zymomonas mobilis by supplementation of fructan-cleaving enzymes on sucrose containing substrates . J BIOTECHNOL.  150 (Supplement): 360-360

Vigants A., Zietlow C., Sauer H., Wartenberg M. ( 2006)  Effects of levan and dextran sulfates on mouse embryonic stem cell differentiation in vitro. ACTA PHYSIOLOGICA 186,  Supplement 1 : 196-196

Bekers M., Upite D., Kaminska E., Laukevics J., Grube M., Vigants A., Linde R. (2005) Stability of levan produced by Zymomonas mobilis. PROCESS BIOCHEMISTRY, 2004  40,:1535-1539

I. Andersone, L.Auzina, A.Vigants, O. Mutere, P.Zikmanis (2004) Formation of levan from raffinose by levansucrase of Zymomonas mobilis. ENGINEERING IN LIFE SCIENCES, 4: 56-59.

A.Vigants, SP.Marx,  R.Linde, S.Ore, , M.Bekers, I.Vina , H-G. Hicke  ( 2003 ) A novel and simple method for the purification of extracellular levansucrase from Zymomonas mobilis. CURRENT MICROBIOLOGY,  47: 198-202

Bekers M, Upite D, Kaminska E, Laukevics J, Ionina R, Vigants A (2003)    Catalytic activity of Zymomonas mobilis extracellular "levan-levansucrase" complex in sucrose medium.COMMUN. AGRIC. APPL. BIOL. SCI.   68(2 Pt A):321-324.

M.M. Toma, U.Kalnenieks, A.Berzins, A.Vigants, M.Rikmanis, U.Viesturs. (2003)  The effect of mixing on glucose fermentation by Zymomonas mobilis continuous culture. PROCESS BIOCHEMISTRY 38: 1347-1350.

Bekers M., Marauska M., Laukevics J., Grube M., Vigants A., Karklina D., Skudra L., Viesturs U. (2001) Oats and fat-free milk based functional food. Food Biotechnology, 15, 1-12.

Vigants A, Hicke HG, Marx SP. (2001) A simple and efficient method for the purification of membrane-bound levansucrase from Zymomonas mobilis. Curr Microbiol. 42, 415-418

Bekers M., Vigants A., Laukevics J.,Toma M,.Rapoports A,.Zikmanis P (2000) The effect of osmoinduced stress on product formation by Zymomonas mobilis on sucrose. International Journal of Food Microbiology. 55 , 147-150.


A.Vīgants. Cilvēka bioķīmija un molekulārā bioloģija. Mācību materiāls starpaugstskolu akadēmiskā maģistru studiju programmai “Uzturzinātne”. LU Akadēmiskais apgāds, 2008., 145 lpp.