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PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e27966. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027966. Epub 2011 Nov 22.

Transcriptomic analyses during the transition from biomass production to lipid accumulation in the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica.

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INRA, UMR1319 Micalis, Jouy-en-Josas, France.


We previously developed a fermentation protocol for lipid accumulation in the oleaginous yeast Y. lipolytica. This process was used to perform transcriptomic time-course analyses to explore gene expression in Y. lipolytica during the transition from biomass production to lipid accumulation. In this experiment, a biomass concentration of 54.6 g(CDW)/l, with 0.18 g/g(CDW) lipid was obtained in ca. 32 h, with low citric acid production. A transcriptomic profiling was performed on 11 samples throughout the fermentation. Through statistical analyses, 569 genes were highlighted as differentially expressed at one point during the time course of the experiment. These genes were classified into 9 clusters, according to their expression profiles. The combination of macroscopic and transcriptomic profiles highlighted 4 major steps in the culture: (i) a growth phase, (ii) a transition phase, (iii) an early lipid accumulation phase, characterized by an increase in nitrogen metabolism, together with strong repression of protein production and activity; (iv) a late lipid accumulation phase, characterized by the rerouting of carbon fluxes within cells. This study explores the potential of Y. lipolytica as an alternative oil producer, by identifying, at the transcriptomic level, the genes potentially involved in the metabolism of oleaginous species.

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