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Production of Specialized Fatty Acids in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

The primary aim of this project is to design Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains for the production of specialized fatty acids that are precursors in the biosynthesis of new ingredients that have high commercial value. To this, metabolic engineering will be employed using key genes to establish new routes or improve endogenous routes for the production of the desired fatty acid precursors.

As S. cerevisiae does not typically feed on fatty acids its production relies on endogenous biosynthesis. De novo synthesis of fatty acids takes place in the cytosol and in mitochondria followed by elongation and desaturation in the endoplasmic reticulum. Almost all subcellular organelles are involved in fatty acid metabolism, so maintenance of fatty acid homeostasis requires regulation at multiple levels.

In this project, metabolic enzymes that are required to redirect fatty acid metabolism will be identified and evaluated. Rational metabolic engineering of S. cerevisiae using key enzymes will be applied, to tailor make novel GM strains that produce relevant fatty acids.