Manipulation of culture conditions alters lipid content and fatty acid profiles of a wide variety of known and new oleaginous yeast species

Irnayuli R. Sitepu, Ryan Sestric, Laura Ignatia, David Levin, J. Bruce German, Laura A. Gillies, Luis A G Almada, Kyria L. Boundy-Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

108 Scopus citations


Oleaginous yeasts have been studied for oleochemical production for over 80. years. Only a few species have been studied intensely. To expand the diversity of oleaginous yeasts available for lipid research, we surveyed a broad diversity of yeasts with indicators of oleaginicity including known oleaginous clades, and buoyancy. Sixty-nine strains representing 17 genera and 50 species were screened for lipid production. Yeasts belonged to Ascomycota families, Basidiomycota orders, and the yeast-like algal genus Prototheca. Total intracellular lipids and fatty acid composition were determined under different incubation times and nitrogen availability. Thirteen new oleaginous yeast species were discovered, representing multiple ascomycete and basidiomycete clades. Nitrogen starvation generally increased intracellular lipid content. The fatty acid profiles varied with the growth conditions regardless of taxonomic affiliation. The dominant fatty acids were oleic acid, palmitic acid, linoleic acid, and stearic acid. Yeasts and culture conditions that produced fatty acids appropriate for biodiesel were identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-369
Number of pages10
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013



  • Biodiesel
  • Nitrogen starvation
  • Oleaginous yeast
  • Oleic acid
  • Triacylglycerides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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