(430c) Engineering Yarrowia Lipolytica As a Platform for the Biomodification of Native Lipids into Diverse Oleochemicals
Previous work has shown that the oleaginous yeast, Yarrowia lipolytica, is excellent host organism for lipid production. Particularly, our lab produced a genetically modified strain capable of producing over 25 g/L of lipid with saturated cells containing upwards of 90% lipids on a dry cell weight basis. This provides an excellent platform for further engineering to enable the biomodification of these lipids into exotic oleochemicals. This talk will address recent efforts to diversify the portfolio of fatty acids and oleochemicals produced by engineered Y. lipolytica. Specifically, by introducing novel pathways for the synthesis of uncommon fatty acids (including thioesterases and desaturases, among others), it is possible to shift the fatty acid metabolism in the cell. The newly produced compounds are each attractive metabolic engineering targets that are widely used in numerous commercial applications such as adhesives, plasticizers, lubricants, nutraceuticals, etc. As many of these chemicals have important uses in the fuels and chemicals industries, it is important to enable the efficient production of these exotic and commercially relevant oleochemicals in an industrially relevant microorganism.