Background: In this study, renewable tea waste hydrolysate was used as a sole carbon source for carotenoids and lipid production. A novel Rhodosporidium toruloides mutant strain, RM18, was isolated through atmospheric and room-temperature plasma mutagenesis and continuous domestication in tea waste hydrolysate from R. toruloides ACCC20341.
Results: RM18 produced a larger biomass and more carotenoids and α-linolenic acid compared with the control strain cultured in tea waste hydrolysate. The highest yields of torularhodin (481.92 μg/g DCW) and torulene (501 μg/g DCW) from RM18 cultured in tea waste hydrolysate were 12.86- and 1.5-fold higher, respectively, than that of the control strain. In addition, α-linolenic acid production from RM18 in TWH accounted for 5.5% of total lipids, which was 1.58 times more than that of the control strain. Transcriptomic profiling indicated that enhanced central metabolism and terpene biosynthesis led to improved carotenoids production, whereas aromatic amino acid synthesis and DNA damage checkpoint and sensing were probably relevant to tea waste hydrolysate tolerance.
Conclusion: Tea waste is suitable for the hydrolysis of microbial cell culture mediums. The R. toruloides mutant RM18 showed considerable carotenoids and lipid production cultured in tea waste hydrolysate, which makes it viable for industrial applications.
Keywords: Lipid; R. toruloides; Tea waste hydrolysate; Torularhodin; Torulene.
© The Author(s) 2020.