Biotechnology for biofuels

Engineering of a high lipid producing Yarrowia lipolytica strain.

PMID 27034715


Microbial lipids are produced by many oleaginous organisms including the well-characterized yeast Yarrowia lipolytica, which can be engineered for increased lipid yield by up-regulation of the lipid biosynthetic pathway and down-regulation or deletion of competing pathways. We describe a strain engineering strategy centered on diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGA) gene overexpression that applied combinatorial screening of overexpression and deletion genetic targets to construct a high lipid producing yeast biocatalyst. The resulting strain, NS432, combines overexpression of a heterologous DGA1 enzyme from Rhodosporidium toruloides, a heterlogous DGA2 enzyme from Claviceps purpurea, and deletion of the native TGL3 lipase regulator. These three genetic modifications, selected for their effect on lipid production, enabled a 77xa0% lipid content and 0.21xa0g lipid per g glucose yield in batch fermentation. In fed-batch glucose fermentation NS432 produced 85xa0g/L lipid at a productivity of 0.73xa0g/L/h. The yields, productivities, and titers reported in this study may further support the applied goal of cost-effective, large -scale microbial lipid production for use as biofuels and biochemicals.