Molecular Biotechnology

, Volume 60, Issue 8, pp 621–635 | Cite as

Engineering Yarrowia lipolytica for Use in Biotechnological Applications: A Review of Major Achievements and Recent Innovations

  • Catherine Madzak


Yarrowia lipolytica is an oleaginous saccharomycetous yeast with a long history of industrial use. It aroused interest several decades ago as host for heterologous protein production. Thanks to the development of numerous molecular and genetic tools, Y. lipolytica is now a recognized system for expressing heterologous genes and secreting the corresponding proteins of interest. As genomic and transcriptomic tools increased our basic knowledge on this yeast, we can now envision engineering its metabolic pathways for use as whole-cell factory in various bioconversion processes. Y. lipolytica is currently being developed as a workhorse for biotechnology, notably for single-cell oil production and upgrading of industrial wastes into valuable products. As it becomes more and more difficult to keep up with an ever-increasing literature on Y. lipolytica engineering technology, this article aims to provide basic and actualized knowledge on this research area. The most useful reviews on Y. lipolytica biology, use, and safety will be evoked, together with a resume of the engineering tools available in this yeast. This mini-review will then focus on recently developed tools and engineering strategies, with a particular emphasis on promoter tuning, metabolic pathways assembly, and genome editing technologies.


Yarrowia lipolytica Non-conventional yeast Heterologous expression Recombinant protein Secretion Surface display Genetic engineering Genome editing Biotechnology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GMPA, INRA, AgroParisTechUniversité Paris-SaclayThiverval-GrignonFrance

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