Influencing fatty acid composition of yeasts by lanthanides

  • Irena Kolouchova
  • Karel Sigler
  • Michal Zimola
  • Tomas Rezanka
  • Olga Matatkova
  • Jan Masak
Original Paper


The growth of microorganisms is affected by cultivation conditions, concentration of carbon and nitrogen sources and the presence of trace elements. One of the new possibilities of influencing the production of cell mass or lipids is the use of lanthanides. Lanthanides are biologically non-essential elements with wide applications in technology and industry and their concentration as environmental contaminants is therefore increasing. Although non-essential, lanthanides have been proposed (and even used) to produce beneficial effects in plants but their mechanisms of action are unclear. Recently, it was suggested that they may replace essential elements or operate as potent blockers of Ca2+ channels. We tested the effect of low concentrations of lanthanides on traditional biotechnologically useful yeast species (Kluyveromyces polysporus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Torulospora delbrueckii), and species capable of high accumulation of lipids (Rhodotorula glutinis, Trichosporon cutaneum, Candida sp., Yarrowia lipolytica). Low concentrations of lanthanum and monazite were conducive to an increase in cell mass and lipids and also higher production of palmitoleic acid, commonly used in cosmetics and medicine, and ω6-linoleic acid which is a precursor of thromboxanes, prostaglandins and leucotrienes.


Fatty acids Lanthanides Microbial lipids Non-oleaginous yeasts Oleaginous yeasts 



The research was supported by GACR project P503 14-00227S.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irena Kolouchova
    • 1
  • Karel Sigler
    • 2
  • Michal Zimola
    • 1
  • Tomas Rezanka
    • 1
    • 2
  • Olga Matatkova
    • 1
  • Jan Masak
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyUniversity of Chemistry and Technology PraguePrague 6Czech Republic
  2. 2.Institute of Microbiology, CASPragueCzech Republic

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