Survey of non-conventional yeasts for lipid and hydrocarbon biotechnology

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Rodriguez-Ocasio, Efrain
Khalid, Ammara
Truka, Charles J.
Blenner, Mark A.
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Oxford University Press
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Chemical and Biological EngineeringBioinformatics and Computational BiologyMicrobiology
Non-conventional yeasts have an untapped potential to expand biotechnology and enable process development necessary for a circular economy. They are especially convenient for the field of lipid and hydrocarbon biotechnology because they offer faster growth than plants, easier scalability than microalgae and exhibit increased tolerance relative to some bacteria. The ability of industrial organisms to import and metabolically transform lipids and hydrocarbons are crucial in such applications. Here, we assessed the ability of 14 yeasts to utilize 18 model lipids and hydrocarbons from six functional groups and three carbon chain lengths. The studied strains covered 12 genera from nine families. Nine non-conventional yeast performed better than Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the most common industrial yeast. Rhodotorula toruloides, Candida maltosa, Scheffersomyces stipis and Yarowia lipolytica were observed to grow significantly better and on more types of lipid and lipid-molecules than other strains. They were all able to utilize mid to long-chain fatty acids, fatty alcohols, alkanes, alkenes and dicarboxylic acids, including 28 previously unreported substrates across the four yeasts. Interestingly, a phylogenetic analysis showed a short evolutionary distance between the R. toruloides and C. maltosa and S. stipitis, even though R. toruloides is classified under a different phylum. This work provides valuable insight into the lipid substrate range of non-conventional yeasts that can inform species selection decisions and viability of lipid feedstocks.
This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology following peer review. The version of record: Rodriguez-Ocasio, Efrain, Ammara Khalid, Charles J. Truka, Mark A. Blenner, and Laura R. Jarboe. "Survey of non-conventional yeasts for lipid and hydrocarbon biotechnology." Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (2022) is available online at DOI: 10.1093/jimb/kuac010. Copyright 2022 The Author(s). Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). Posted with permission.