Comparing cellular performance of Yarrowia lipolytica during growth on glucose and glycerol in submerged cultivations

Mhairi Workman, Philippe Holt, Jette Thykær

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    Yarrowia lipolytica is an attractive host for sustainable bioprocesses due to its ability to utilize a variety of carbon substrates and convert them to a range of different product types (including lipids, organic acids and polyols) under specific conditions. Despite an increasing number of applications for this yeast, relatively few studies have focused on uptake and metabolism of carbon sources, and the metabolic basis for carbon flow to the different products. The focus of this work was quantification of the cellular performance of Y. lipolytica during growth on glycerol, glucose or a mixture of the two. Carbon substrate uptake rate, growth rate, oxygen utilisation (requirement and uptake rate) and polyol yields were estimated in batch cultivations at 1 litre scale. When glucose was used as the sole carbon and energy source, the growth rate was 0.24 h-1 and biomass and CO2 were the only products. Growth on glycerol proceeded at approximately 0.30 h-1, and the substrate uptake rate was 0.02 mol L-1 h-1
    regardless of the starting glycerol concentration (10, 20 or 45 g L-1). Utilisation of glycerol was accompanied by higher oxygen uptake rates compared to glucose growth, indicating import of glycerol occurred initially via phosphorylation of glycerol into glycerol-3-phosphate. Based on these results it could be speculated that once oxygen limitation was reached, additional production of NADH created imbalance in the cofactor pools and the polyol formation observed could be a result of cofactor recycling to restore the balance in metabolism.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalA M B Express
    Issue number1
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Y. lipolytica
    • Glycerol
    • Submerged cultivation
    • Oxygen limitation
    • Polyols


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