436770 Commercial Production of Omega-3 Eicosapentaenoic Acid By Metabolic Engineering of an Oleaginous Yeast, Yarrowia Lipolytica

Wednesday, November 11, 2015: 9:16 AM
155A (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Quinn Zhu, Industrial Biosciences, DuPont Company, Wilmington, DE

The omega-3 fatty acids, cis-5, 8,11,14,17-eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5; EPA) and cis-4,7,10,13,16,19-docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6; DHA), have wide-range health benefits for human and animals. Currently, the major source for EPA and DHA is from fish oil, and a minor source of DHA is from microalgae. With the increased demand for EPA and DHA, DuPont has developed a clean and sustainable EPA source through fermentation production using metabolically engineered strains of Yarrowia lipolytica. Specifically, EPA biosynthetic and supporting pathways have been introduced into this oleaginous yeast to synthesize and accumulate EPA under fermentation conditions. The engineered Y. lipolytica strains have been used for commercial production of EPA-rich oil and EPA-rich biomass by fermentation. Two commercial products have been developed, “New Harvest”, a clean, renewable and vegetarian oil with EPA at 55% (weight/weight) for human nutrition supplement and “VerlassoR”, a premium branded salmon which is sustainably farmed due to incorporating EPA-rich Yarrowia biomass in the feed. The yeast triacylglyceride oil has a unique fatty acid profile with less than 5% as saturated fatty acids and more than 55% as EPA.  The oil with this fatty acid profile provides significant health benefits for human and animals.  A most advanced Yarrowia production strain has been generated to produce EPA at >28% dry cell weight, a titer that is more than 90% higher than was obtained with the strain we previously reported (Nature Biotechnology, 2013, 8: 734-740).  Our land-based production of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids with tailored compositions provides a superior source for these high value molecules for applications in human nutritional supplements, functional foods, infant foods, medical foods, pharmaceuticals, and animal feeds.


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