Identification and Characterization of Phospholipids with Very Long Chain Fatty Acids in Brewer’s Yeast


Yeast lipids and fatty acids (FA) were analyzed in Saccharomyces pastorianus from seven breweries and in the dietary yeast supplement Pangamin. GC–MS identified more than 30 FA, half of which were very-long chain fatty acids (VLCFA) with hydrocarbon chain lengths of ≥22 C atoms. Positional isomers ω-9 and ω-7 were identified in FA with C18–C28 even-numbered alkyl chains. The most abundant ω-7 isomer was cis-vaccenic acid. The structure of monounsaturated FA was proved by dimethyl disulfide adducts (position of double bonds and cis geometric configuration) and by GC–MS of pyridyl carbinol esters. Ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry with negative electrospray ionization identified the phospholipids phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylcholine, with more than 150 molecular species. Wild-type unmutated brewer’s yeast strains conventionally used for the manufacture of food supplements were found to contain VLCFA.

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Fig. 1
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Collision induced dissociation






Electrospray ionization


Electrospray ionization mass spectrometry


Fatty acids


Fatty acid methyl esters


Flame ionization detector


Fourier transform


Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry


Heated electrospray interface


High-performance liquid chromatography


Ion trap-total ion current












Selected-ion monitoring




High performance liquid chromatography


High performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry negative electrospray ionization


Very-long chain fatty acids


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The research was supported by the Czech Science Foundation (GACR) project P503 17-00027S and by Institutional Research Concepts RVO61388971.

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Correspondence to Tomáš Řezanka.

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Řezanka, T., Kolouchová, I., Gharwalová, L. et al. Identification and Characterization of Phospholipids with Very Long Chain Fatty Acids in Brewer’s Yeast. Lipids 52, 1007–1017 (2017).

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  • Yeast
  • Very long chain fatty acids
  • Negative electrospray ionization
  • Phospholipids