459970 Production of Wax Esters As High-Value Compounds in Yeast Yarrowia Lipolytica

Wednesday, November 16, 2016: 1:24 PM
Continental 9 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Le Zhao1, Fuyuan Jing2, James Yu3, Suzanne Sandmeyer3, Jacqueline V. Shanks1 and Zengyi Shao4, (1)Chemical and Biological Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, (2)Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, (3)University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, (4)Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Wax esters have a lot of applications in lubricant, cosmetics, inking, and coating industries. Currently the main biological source for wax esters is the seeds of jojoba. Mainly due to the limited supply of jojoba, wax esters are currently produced at a high cost. To alleviate this issue, we introduced the wax ester biosynthetic pathway into the oleaginous yeast, Yarrowia lipolytica, which is well known for its superior ability to accumulate triacylglycerol (TAG) under appropriate culturing condition and genetics combinations. To divert the metabolic flux from TAG biosynthesis to wax ester biosynthesis, the genes involved in the wax synthetic pathway from difference sources with unique substrate specificities were tested, and several metabolic engineering strategies have been applied to increase precursor availability and remove substrate competition. The resulting strain produced wax esters at a titer 5-fold higher than the previous record in literature. With a comprehensive optimization on medium recipe, we anticipate a further significant improvement in wax ester titer.

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