M107 Engineering Yarrowia lipolytica as an oleaginous cell factory platform for biosynthesis of sugar based – long chain oxygenated fatty acid monomers
Monday, April 25, 2016
Key Ballroom, 2nd fl (Hilton Baltimore)
A. Abghari* and X. Xiong, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA; S. Chen, Professor/Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA
Long chain oxygenated fatty acid monomers (LCOFAM-C16 &18) are considered as promising and demanding class of multifunctional oleochemicals with various potential applications in food, plastic, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. They can be used as additives, fragrances, polyester, polyamides, adhesives, surfactants, detergents, lubricants and personal care ingredients. Further exploitation of this valuable material is underway in parallel to its increasing trend of production. 

LCOFAMs are mainly produced by chemical conversion of petrochemical or unsaturated oils through ozonolysis, alkaline cleavage or olefin metathesis processes. These processes have a number of disadvantages including generation of various unwanted by-products, harsh reaction conditions, dependency on non-renewable feedstock, and poor selectivity. Microbial based-degradation of alkane or fatty acid (FA) to LCOFAM is also facing problems of dependency on alkane or FA as feedstock and low solubility of substrate. On the other hand, biological based process is mainly handled by pathogenic yeast strain resulting in devaluation of its produced LCOFAMs for use as food or pharmaceutical ingredients. 

Here, we successfully demonstrated engineering Y. lipolytica, a GRAS whole cell biocatalyst, for conversion of glucose as sole carbon source to LCOFAMs. This was achieved by manipulation of lipid metabolism pathway as well as selective upregulation of FA oxidation pathway. We obtained LCOFAMs titer of more than 300 mg/L that was subsequently enhanced by integration of the selected genes for stable expression. A novel approach of this study opens door toward sustainable biosynthesis of LCOFAMs of higher selectivity and safe origin from glucose, the major monomer constituent of the renewable lignocellulosic biomass.