Production of 1-decanol by metabolically engineered Yarrowia lipolytica

Charles D. Rutter, Christopher V. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Medium-chain alcohols are used to produce solvents, surfactants, lubricants, waxes, creams, and cosmetics. In this study, we engineered the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica to produce 1-decanol from glucose. Expression of a fatty acyl-CoA reductase from Arabidopsis thaliana in strains of Y. lipolytica previously engineered to produce medium-chain fatty acids resulted in the production of 1-decanol. However, the resulting titers were very low (<10 mg/mL), most likely due to product catabolism. In addition, these strains produced small quantities of 1-hexadecanol and 1-octadecanol. Deleting the major peroxisome assembly factor Pex10 was found to significantly increase 1-decanol production, resulting in titers exceeding 500 mg/L. It also increased 1-hexadecanoland and 1-octadecanol titers, though the resulting increases were less than those for 1-decanol. These results demonstrate that Y. lipolytica can potentially be used for the industrial production of 1-decanol and other fatty alcohols from simple sugars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-147
Number of pages9
JournalMetabolic Engineering
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Medium-chain alcohols
  • Oleaginous yeast
  • Unsaturated fatty acids
  • Yarrowia lipolytica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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