Amaranth seeds (Amaranthus palmeri L.) as novel feedstock for biodiesel production by oleaginous yeast

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018 Jan;25(1):353-362. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-0444-x. Epub 2017 Oct 16.


The potential of lipid accumulation by oleaginous yeast Cryptococcus vishniaccii grown on amaranth seed aqueous extract (AAE) media was assessed. Maximum cell biomass productivity of 104 mg/L/h, lipid productivity of 54 mg/L/h, and lipid content of 52.31% were recorded on AAE when carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio increased from 134 to 147 after removal of ammonia nitrogen. The lipid droplet (LD) size (2.32 ± 0.38 μm) was visualized by fluorescence microscopy using Nile red stain indicating maximum accumulated triacylglycerol (TAG) at C:N 147. Fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) profile obtained after transesterification of extracted lipid revealed the presence of palmitic acid (16:0), palmitoleic acid (16:1), stearic acid (18:0), oleic acid (18:1), and linoleic acid (18:2). Data showed the presence of high monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) content (68.17%) depicting improved winter operating conditions of biodiesel. Various quality parameters of biodiesel were evaluated and compared to the American and European biodiesel standards specifications. Based on the lipid productivity, distribution of fatty acids, and evaluated properties obtained; the lipid accumulation by C. vishniaccii utilizing amaranth seeds as substrate could serve as a feasible feedstock for biodiesel production.

Keywords: Amaranth seed aqueous extract (AAE); Biodiesel; Carbon-to-nitrogen (C:N) ratio; Cryptococcus vishniaccii; Lipid productivity; Nile red.

MeSH terms

  • Amaranthus / chemistry
  • Amaranthus / microbiology*
  • Biofuels / analysis*
  • Biomass
  • Biotechnology / methods*
  • Cryptococcus / growth & development
  • Cryptococcus / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Lipid Droplets / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Seeds / microbiology*


  • Biofuels
  • Fatty Acids
  • Plant Extracts