Unlike conventional yeasts, several oleaginous yeasts, including Saitozyma podzolica DSM 27192, possess the innate ability to grow and produce biochemicals from plant-derived lignocellulosic components such as hexose and pentose sugars. To elucidate the genetic basis of S. podzolica growth and lipid production on glucose and xylose, we performed comparative temporal transcriptome analysis using RNA-seq method. Approximately 3.4 and 22.2% of the 10,670 expressed genes were differentially (FDR < 0.05, and log2FC > 1.5) expressed under batch and fed batch modes, respectively. Our analysis revealed that a higher number of sugar transporter genes were significantly overrepresented in xylose relative to glucose-grown cultures. Given the low homology between proteins encoded by most of these genes and those of the well-characterised transporters, it is plausible to conclude that S. podzolica possesses a cache of putatively novel sugar transporters. The analysis also suggests that S. podzolica potentially channels carbon flux from xylose via both the non-oxidative pentose phosphate and potentially via the first steps of the Weimberg pathways to yield xylonic acid. However, only the ATP citrate lyase (ACL) gene showed significant upregulation among the essential oleaginous pathway genes under nitrogen limitation in xylose compared to glucose cultivation. Combined, these findings pave the way toward the design of strategies or the engineering of efficient biomass hydrolysate utilization in S. podzolica for the production of various biochemicals.
Keywords: RNA-seq; Saitozyma podzolica DSM 27192; Weimberg pathway; glucose; microbial lipid; oleaginous yeast; sugar transporters; xylose.