Metabolic engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for production of fatty acid–derived hydrocarbons

Yiming Zhang, Jens Nielsen, Zihe Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Fatty acid–derived hydrocarbons attract increasing attention as biofuels due to their immiscibility with water, high-energy content, low freezing point, and high compatibility with existing refineries and end-user infrastructures. Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has advantages for production of fatty acid–derived hydrocarbons as its native routes toward fatty acid synthesis involve only a few reactions that allow more efficient conversion of carbon substrates. Here we describe major biosynthetic pathways of fatty acid–derived hydrocarbons in yeast, and summarize key metabolic engineering strategies, including enhancing precursor supply, eliminating competing pathways, and expressing heterologous pathways. With recent advances in yeast production of fatty acid–derived hydrocarbons, our review identifies key research challenges and opportunities for future optimization, and concludes with perspectives and outlooks for further research directions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)2139-2147
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Alkene
  • Fatty acid
  • Fatty alcohol
  • Hydrocarbon
  • Yeast

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