Metabolic Engineering of Oleaginous Yeasts for Fatty Alcohol Production

Research output: NRELPoster


To develop pathways for advanced biological upgrading of sugars to hydrocarbons, we are seeking biological approaches to produce high carbon efficiency intermediates amenable to separations and catalytic upgrading to hydrocarbon fuels. In this study, we successfully demonstrated fatty alcohol production by oleaginous yeasts Yarrowia lipolytica and Lipomyces starkeyi by expressing a bacteria-derived fatty acyl-CoA reductase (FAR). Moreover, we find higher extracellular distribution of fatty alcohols produced by FAR-expressing L. starkeyi strain as compared to Y. lipolytica strain, which would benefit the downstream product recovery process. In both oleaginous yeasts, long chain length saturated fatty alcohols were predominant, accounting for more than 85% of the total fatty alcohols produced. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of fatty alcohol production in L. starkeyi. Taken together, our work demonstrates that in addition to Y. lipolytica, L. starkeyi can also serve as a platform organism for production of fatty acid-derived biofuels and bioproducts via metabolic engineering. We believe strain and process development both will significantly contribute to our goal of producing scalable and cost-effective fatty alcohols from renewable biomass.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NamePresented at the 38th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals (SBFC), 25-28 April 2016, Baltimore, Maryland

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-2700-65466


  • fatty alcohols
  • Lipomyces starkeyi
  • metabolic engineering
  • oleaginous yeasts
  • Yarrowia lipolytica


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