Biotransformation of volatile fatty acids by oleaginous and non-oleaginous yeast species.

Research paper by Irena I Kolouchová, Olga O Schreiberová, Karel K Sigler, Jan J Masák, Tomáš T Řezanka

Indexed on: 02 Sep '15Published on: 02 Sep '15Published in: FEMS Yeast Research


The possibility of utilizing volatile fatty acids (VFA)-containing waste substrates from biotechnological and industrial processes was investigated by cultivating both oleaginous (Candida sp., Rhodotorula glutinis, Trichosporon cutaneum, Yarrowia lipolytica) and non-oleaginous (Kluyveromyces polysporus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Torulaspora delbrueckii) yeast species on acetic acid, propionic acid and a combination of either acid with glucose as carbon and energy sources. Both oleaginous and non-oleaginous yeasts grew on VFA. Oleaginous yeasts accumulated lipids to 15-48% of dry cell weight, non-oleaginous yeasts also grew on VFA and showed comparable biomass yields but the lipid content was only 2-5%. Biomass and lipid yield increased in cultivations on VFA plus glucose. The lipid composition was comparable to plant-derived oils and therefore might be exploitable in biodiesel production; nearly all species, when cultured on propionate, showed a high content of the desirable odd-chain unsaturated FA, especially 17:1 acid. This study points at the wide array of possible applications of many yeasts, even non-oleaginous strains, for biovalorization of industrial wastes. Despite their low lipid content these species are useful because they can readily utilize VFA from waste products and, since they are not biologically hazardous, their biomass can be afterwards used, e.g. as livestock fodder.