Multiplatform mass spectrometry-based approach identifies extracellular glycolipids of the yeast Rhodotorula babjevae UCDFST 04-877

Tomas Cajka, Luis A. Garay, Irnayuli R. Sitepu, Kyria L. Boundy-Mills, Oliver Fiehn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


A multiplatform mass spectrometry-based approach was used for elucidating extracellular lipids with biosurfactant properties produced by the oleaginous yeast Rhodotorula babjevae UCDFST 04-877. This strain secreted 8.6 ± 0.1 g/L extracellular lipids when grown in a benchtop bioreactor fed with 100 g/L glucose in medium without addition of hydrophobic substrate, such as oleic acid. Untargeted reversed-phase liquid chromatography-quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (QTOFMS) detected native glycolipid molecules with masses of 574-716 Da. After hydrolysis into the fatty acid and sugar components and hydrophilic interaction chromatography-QTOFMS analysis, the extracellular lipids were found to consist of hydroxy fatty acids and sugar alcohols. Derivatization and chiral separation gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) identified these components as d-arabitol, d-mannitol, (R)-3-hydroxymyristate, (R)-3-hydroxypalmitate, and (R)-3-hydroxystearate. In order to assemble these substructures back into intact glycolipids that were detected in the initial screen, potential structures were in-silico acetylated to match the observed molar masses and subsequently characterized by matching predicted and observed MS/MS fragmentation using the Mass Frontier software program. Eleven species of acetylated sugar alcohol esters of hydroxy fatty acids were characterized for this yeast strain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2580-2589
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Natural Products
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 28 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Organic Chemistry

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