, Volume 90, Issue 4, pp 1219-1227
Date: 05 Apr 2011

Oily yeasts as oleaginous cell factories

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Abstract

Oily yeasts have been described to be able to accumulate lipids up to 20% of their cellular dry weight. These yeasts represent a minor proportion of the total yeast population, and only 5% of them have been reported as able to accumulate more than 25% of lipids. The oily yeast genera include Yarrowia, Candida, Rhodotorula, Rhodosporidium, Cryptococcus, Trichosporon, and Lipomyces. More specifically, examples of oleaginous yeasts include the species: Lipomyces starkeyi, Rhodosporidium toruloides, Rhodotorula glutinis, and Yarrowia lipolytica. Yeast do exhibit advantages for lipid production over other microbial sources, namely, their duplication times are usually lower than 1 h, are much less affected than plants by season or climate conditions, and their cultures are more easily scaled up than those of microalgae. Additionally, some oily yeasts have been reported to accumulate oil up to 80% of their dry weight and can indeed generate different lipids from different carbon sources or from lipids present in the culture media. Thus, they can vary their lipid composition by replacing the fatty acids present in their triglycerides. Due to the diversity of microorganisms and growth conditions, oily yeasts can be useful for the production of triglycerides, surfactants, or polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Jose Manuel Ageitos and Juan Andres Vallejo are equal contributors.