Due to the depletion of fossil fuel resources and concern about increasing atmospheric CO2 levels, the production of microbial oil as source for energy and chemicals is considered as a sustainable alternative. A promising candidate strain for the production of microbial oil is the oleaginous yeast Schwanniomyces occidentalis CBS 2864. To compete with fossil resources, cultivation and processing of S. occidentalis requires improvement. Currently, different cell wall disruption techniques based on mechanical, chemical, physiological, and biological methods are being investigated using a variety of oil producing yeasts and microalgae. Most of these techniques are not suitable for upscaling because they are technically or energetically unfavorable. Therefore, new techniques have to be developed to overcome this challenge. Here, we demonstrate an effective mild enzymatic approach for cell disruption to facilitate lipid extraction from the oleaginous yeast S. occidentalis. Most oil was released by applying 187 mg L-1 tailor-made enzymes from Trichoderma harzianum CBS 146429 against the yeast cell wall of S. occidentalis at pH 5.0 and 40 °C with 4 h of incubation time after applying 1 M NaOH as a pretreatment step.
Keywords: Disruption; Fermentation; Lytic enzymes; Microbial oil; Trichoderma harzianum.