U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Comprehensive Omics Profiling Combined with Advanced Imaging Reveals Targets for Optimizing Lipid Biofuel Production in Yeast
Published: April 23, 2015
Posted: September 01, 2015

With increasing emphasis on sustainable energy sources, lipid-derived biofuels are a promising substitute for fossil fuels. In particular, the yeast species Yarrowia lipolytica has strong potential as a biofuel-producing organism because it accumulates large amounts of lipids, but little is known about the key biological processes involved. A recent study led by scientists from the Department of Energy’s Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory identified and characterized major pathways involved in lipid accumulation from glucose in this yeast species. The researchers obtained metabolomic and lipidomic profiles of the yeast cells using EMSL’s mass spectrometry capabilities, and they used confocal, electron, and helium ion microscopes in EMSL’s Quiet Wing to visualize changes in cellular structures over time. The team found that when fed glucose, the cells accumulated lipids rapidly and that lipid production peaked at 48 hours, but they also found that the highest proportion of a biofuel-friendly lipid occurred at 24 hours. By 72 hours, the cells began to produce thicker cell walls. These omics profiling results provide insights into possible targets for metabolic engineering to improve lipid production in Y. lipolytica. The visual results demonstrating that the cells produce thicker cell walls as they age suggest that the genes involved in cell wall synthesis are a potential target for improving the efficiency of lipid production.

Reference: Pomraning, K. R., S. W. Wei, S. A. Karagiosis, Y. M. Kim, A. C. Dohnalkova, B. W. Arey, E. L. Bredeweg, G. Orr, T. O. Metz, and S. E. Baker. 2015. “Comprehensive Metabolomic, Lipidomic and Microscopic Profiling of Yarrowia lipolytica During Lipid Accumulation Identifies Targets for Increased Lipogenesis,” PLoS One 10(4), e0123188. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123188. (Reference link)
See also: Yeast Biofuels.

Contact: Paul E. Bayer, SC-23.1, (301) 903-5324
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: DOE Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
  • Research Area: Genomic Analysis and Systems Biology
  • Research Area: Microbes and Communities
  • Research Area: Sustainable Biofuels and Bioproducts
  • Research Area: Biosystems Design
  • Research Area: Research Technologies and Methodologies

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)