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Applied microbiology and biotechnology

Engineered high content of ricinoleic acid in fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe.


PMID 22370951

Abstract

In an effort to produce ricinoleic acid (12-hydroxy-octadeca-cis-9-enoic acid: C18:1-OH) as a petrochemical replacement in a variety of industrial processes, we introduced Claviceps purpurea oleate ∆12-hydroxylase gene (CpFAH12) to Schizosaccharomyces pombe, putting it under the control of inducible nmt1 promoter. Since Fah12p is able to convert oleic acid to ricinoleic acid, we thought that S. pombe, in which around 75% of total fatty acid (FA) is oleic acid, would accordingly be an ideal microorganism for high production of ricinoleic acid. Unfortunately, at the normal growth temperature of 30 °C, S. pombe cells harboring CpFAH12 grew poorly when the CpFAH12 gene expression was induced, perhaps implicating ricinoleic acid as toxic in S. pombe. However, in line with a likely thermoinstability of Fah12p, there was almost no growth inhibition at 37 °C or, by contrast with 30 °C and lower temperatures, ricinoleic acid accumulation. Accordingly, various optimization steps led to a regime with preliminary growth at 37 °C followed by a 5-day incubation at 20 °C, and the level of ricinoleic acid reached 137.4 μg/ml of culture that corresponded to 52.6% of total FA.

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R7257
Ricinoleic acid, ≥99%
C18H34O3