Microbial oils are sustainable alternatives to petroleum for the production of chemicals and fuels. Oleaginous yeasts are promising source of oils and Yarrowia lipolytica is the most studied and engineered one. Nonetheless the commercial production of biolipids is so far limited to high value products due to the elevated production and extraction costs. In order to contribute to overcoming these limitations we exploited the possibility of secreting lipids to the culture broth, uncoupling production and biomass formation and facilitating the extraction. We therefore considered two synthetic approaches, Strategy I where fatty acids are produced by enhancing the flux through neutral lipid formation, as typically occurs in eukaryotic systems and Strategy II where the bacterial system to produce free fatty acids is mimicked. The engineered strains, in a coupled fermentation and extraction process using alkanes, secreted the highest titer of lipids described so far, with a content of 120% of DCW.
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