Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 14, pp 5925–5938 | Cite as

Advances in synthetic biology of oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica for producing non-native chemicals

  • Farshad Darvishi
  • Mehdi Ariana
  • Eko Roy Marella
  • Irina Borodina


Oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica is an important industrial host for the production of enzymes, oils, fragrances, surfactants, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. More recently, improved synthetic biology tools have allowed more extensive engineering of this yeast species, which lead to the production of non-native metabolites. In this review, we summarize the recent advances of genome editing tools for Y. lipolytica, including the application of CRISPR/Cas9 system and discuss case studies, where Y. lipolytica was engineered to produce various non-native chemicals: short-chain fatty alcohols and alkanes as biofuels, polyunsaturated fatty acids for nutritional and pharmaceutical applications, polyhydroxyalkanoates and dicarboxylic acids as precursors for biodegradable plastics, carotenoid-type pigments for food and feed, and campesterol as a precursor for steroid drugs.


Yarrowia lipolytica Synthetic biology CRISPR/Cas9 Bio-based chemicals 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Ali Abghari, Dr. Carina Holkenbrink, and Hamideh Moradi for their valuable comments on this review.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Microbial Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering (MBBE) Group, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of MaraghehMaraghehIran
  2. 2.The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for BiosustainabilityTechnical University of DenmarkKgs. LyngbyDenmark

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