Sustainable Utilization of Fungi in Agriculture and Industry

Red Oleaginous Yeast: Powerhouse of Basidiomycetes

Author(s): Sweta Sinha, Arshad Jawed, Madhusudhan Reddy D. and Debarati Paul *

Pp: 402-411 (10)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815040340122040025

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Oleaginous red yeast belongs to the group basidiomycetes. The oleaginous
yeast(s) of genus Rhodosporidium/ Rhodutorula is a single-cell mono or di-morphic,
teleomorphic, and anamorphic yeast that reproduce sexually and asexually. Numerous
species from these “red yeast” generate industrial bioproducts such as lipids,
carotenoids, enzymes, biosurfactants, etc.. Their potential to grow on various carbon
sources, comparatively simple large-scale cultivation, plethora of knowledge, and
availability of several genetic tools encourage their use for devising sustainable biomanufacturing
processes. Oleaginous red yeast can accumulate more than 70% of
lipids as compared to other fungi. This property makes it attractive to produce 3rd
generation biofuel. They accumulate high concentrations of carotenoid pigments that
can be employed as nutraceuticals, giving their colonies a distinctive color range of
orange, red, or pink. Carotenoids are a set of bioactive compounds that are synthesized
by plants and microorganisms in response to different environmental conditions. In
general, the chemical synthesis of biofuels generates hazardous wastes; therefore, the
microbial production of carotenoids has garnered huge interest due to its benefits, e.g.,
low-cost substrates, lower production costs, minimal hazardous waste or by-products,
etc.. Its color and antioxidant properties make carotene remarkably interesting in the
food, feed, and pharmaceutical industries. The basidiomycete oleaginous red yeast
accumulates and stores hydrocarbon-rich fats, also known as lipids, as primary
metabolites during the early log phase and pigments like carotenoids as their secondary
metabolite during the late stationary phase of growth from varied carbon sources, thus
making it a powerhouse of yeast.

Keywords: Basidiomycetes, Carotenoids, Lipids, Oleaginous, Rhodutorula, Yeast.

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