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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2002 Mar;58(3):308-12. Epub 2001 Dec 11.

Single cell oil production by Yarrowia lipolytica growing on an industrial derivative of animal fat in batch cultures.

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  • 1Laboratoire des Sciences du Génie Chimique-CNRS, ENSIC, UPR 6811, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France.


The growth of an oleaginous strain of Yarrowia lipolytica on an industrial fat composed of saturated free fatty acids (stearin) was studied. Lipid accumulation during primary anabolic growth was critically influenced by the medium pH and the incubation temperature. This process was independent of the nitrogen concentration in the culture medium, but was favored at a high carbon substrate level and at a low aeration rate. At pH 6 and a temperature of 28-33 degrees C, 9-12 g/l of dry biomass was produced, whereas significant quantities of lipids were accumulated inside the yeast cells (0.44-0.54 g of lipid per gram of biomass). The strain showed the tendency to degrade its storage lipids, although significant amounts of substrate fat, rich in stearic acid, remained unconsumed in the culture medium. Y. lipolytica presented a strong fatty acid specificity. The fatty acids C12:0, C14:0, and C16:0 were rapidly incorporated and mainly used for growth needs, while C18:0 was incorporated with reduced rates and was mainly accumulated as storage material. Reserve lipids, principally composed of triacylglycerols (55% w/w of total lipids) and free fatty acids (35% w/w), were rich in stearic acid (80% w/w), while negligible amounts of unsaturated fatty acids were detected. When industrial glycerol was used as co-substrate, together with stearin, unsaturated fatty acid concentration in the reserve lipid increased.

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