Oleate-enriched triacylglycerides are well-suited for lubricant applications that require high oxidative stability. Fatty acid carbon chain length and degree of desaturation are key determinants of triacylglyceride properties and the ability to manipulate fatty acid composition in living organisms is critical to developing a source of bio-based oil tailored to meet specific application requirements.We sought to engineer the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica for production of high-oleate triacylglyceride oil. We studied the effect of deletions and overexpressions in the fatty acid and triacylglyceride synthesis pathways to identify modifications that increase oleate levels. Oleic acid accumulation in triacylglycerides was promoted by exchanging the native ?9 fatty acid desaturase and glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase with heterologous enzymes, as well as deletion of the ?12 fatty acid desaturase and expression of a fatty acid elongase. By combining these engineering steps, we eliminated polyunsaturated fatty acids and created a Y. lipolytica strain that accumulates triglycerides with >?90% oleate content.High-oleate content and lack of polyunsaturates distinguish this triacylglyceride oil from plant and algal derived oils. Its composition renders the oil suitable for applications that require high oxidative stability and further demonstrates the potential of Y. lipolytica as a producer of tailored lipid profiles.
Journal: Biotechnology for biofuels