Enhanced Lipid Production by Rhodosporidium toruloides using Different Fed-Batch Feeding Strategies with Lignocellulosic Hydrolysate as the Sole Carbon Source

Qiang Fei, Marykate O'Brien, Robert Nelson, Xiaowen Chen, Andrew Lowell, Nancy Dowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus Citations


Background: Industrial biotechnology that is able to provide environmentally friendly bio-based products has attracted more attention in replacing petroleum-based industries. Currently, most of the carbon sources used for fermentation-based bioprocesses are obtained from agricultural commodities that are used as foodstuff for human beings. Lignocellulose-derived sugars as the non-food, green, and sustainable alternative carbon sources have great potential to avoid this dilemma for producing the renewable, bio-based hydrocarbon fuel precursors, such as microbial lipid. Efficient bioconversion of lignocellulose-based sugars into lipids is one of the critical parameters for industrial application. Therefore, the fed-batch cultivation, which is a common method used in industrial applications, was investigated to achieve a high cell density culture along with high lipid yield and productivity. Results: In this study, several fed-batch strategies were explored to improve lipid production using lignocellulosic hydrolysates derived from corn stover. Compared to the batch culture giving a lipid yield of 0.19 g/g, the dissolved-oxygen-stat feeding mode increased the lipid yield to 0.23 g/g and the lipid productivity to 0.33 g/L/h. The pulse feeding mode further improved lipid productivity to 0.35 g/L/h and the yield to 0.24 g/g. However, the highest lipid yield (0.29 g/g) and productivity (0.4 g/L/h) were achieved using an automated online sugar control feeding mode, which gave a dry cell weight of 54 g/L and lipid content of 59 % (w/w). The major fatty acids of the lipid derived from lignocellulosic hydrolysates were predominately palmitic acid and oleic acid, which are similar to those of conventional oilseed plants. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the fed-batch feeding strategy can strongly influence the lipid production. The online sugar control feeding mode was the most appealing strategy for high cell density, lipid yield, and lipid productivity using lignocellulosic hydrolysates as the sole carbon source.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number130
Number of pages12
JournalBiotechnology for Biofuels
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Author(s).

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-65376


  • Automated online sugar control system
  • Fed-batch feeding strategy
  • Lignocellulosic hydrolysates
  • Lipid production
  • Rhodosporidium toruloides


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