System analysis of Lipomyces starkeyi during growth on various plant-based sugars

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2022 Sep;106(17):5629-5642. doi: 10.1007/s00253-022-12084-w. Epub 2022 Jul 30.


Oleaginous yeasts have received significant attention due to their substantial lipid storage capability. The accumulated lipids can be utilized directly or processed into various bioproducts and biofuels. Lipomyces starkeyi is an oleaginous yeast capable of using multiple plant-based sugars, such as glucose, xylose, and cellobiose. It is, however, a relatively unexplored yeast due to limited knowledge about its physiology. In this study, we have evaluated the growth of L. starkeyi on different sugars and performed transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses to understand the underlying mechanisms of sugar metabolism. Principal component analysis showed clear differences resulting from growth on different sugars. We have further reported various metabolic pathways activated during growth on these sugars. We also observed non-specific regulation in L. starkeyi and have updated the gene annotations for the NRRL Y-11557 strain. This analysis provides a foundation for understanding the metabolism of these plant-based sugars and potentially valuable information to guide the metabolic engineering of L. starkeyi to produce bioproducts and biofuels. KEY POINTS: • L. starkeyi metabolism reprograms for consumption of different plant-based sugars. • Non-specific regulation was observed during growth on cellobiose. • L. starkeyi secretes β-glucosidases for extracellular hydrolysis of cellobiose.

Keywords: Anshu Deewan and Jing-Jing Liu contributed equally to this work; Lipomyces starkeyi; Metabolomics; Oleaginous yeast; RNA sequencing; Sugar uptake; Transcriptomics.

MeSH terms

  • Biofuels*
  • Cellobiose*
  • Lipids
  • Lipomyces
  • Sugars
  • Yeasts


  • Biofuels
  • Lipids
  • Sugars
  • Cellobiose

Supplementary concepts

  • Lipomyces starkeyi