A single-host fermentation process for the production of flavor lactones from non-hydroxylated fatty acids

Eko Roy Marella, Jonathan Dahlin, Marie Inger Dam, Jolanda ter Horst, Hanne Bjerre Christensen, Suresh Sudarsan, Guokun Wang, Carina Holkenbrink, Irina Borodina*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Lactone flavors with fruity, milky, coconut, and other aromas are widely used in the food and fragrance industries. Lactones are produced by chemical synthesis or by biotransformation of plant-sourced hydroxy fatty acids. We established a novel method to produce flavor lactones from abundant non-hydroxylated fatty acids using yeast cell factories. Oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica was engineered to perform hydroxylation of fatty acids and chain-shortening via β-oxidation to preferentially twelve or ten carbons. The strains could produce γ-dodecalactone from oleic acid and δ-decalactone from linoleic acid. Through metabolic engineering, the titer was improved 4-fold, and the final strain produced 282 mg/L γ-dodecalactone in a fed-batch bioreactor. The study paves the way for the production of lactones by fermentation of abundant fatty feedstocks.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMetabolic Engineering
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Beta-oxidation
  • Delta-decalactone
  • Flavor lactone
  • Gamma-dodecalactone
  • Hydroxy fatty acids
  • Yarrowia lipolytica

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