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Methods Mol Biol. 2012;898:235-49. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-918-1_16.

Genetic manipulation of Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous and Phaffia rhodozyma.

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Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.


The yeasts Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous (teleomorph) and Phaffia rhodozyma (anamorph) are of basidiomycetous affinity and have the unique property among yeasts of producing the carotenoid pigment astaxanthin. Astaxanthin imparts the attractive coloration to salmonids, crustaceans, and several birds such as the flamingo, and it has considerable economic value. Microbiological and genetic techniques for manipulation are rudimentary in the yeast, while their utility would be valuable for strain development including hypermutants that overproduce astaxanthin. Here we describe methods for manipulation of the yeast, including induction of the sexual stage with basidiospore formation, methods for isolation of mutants (particularly mutants affected in carotenoid biosynthesis) as well as techniques for isolation and analysis of carotenoids. These methods are valuable for understanding the biology and enhancing the biotechnology value of the yeast.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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