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Yarrowia lipolytica application as a prospective approach for biosynthesis of pyruvic acid from glycerol

Krzysztof Cybulski, Ludwika Tomaszewska-Hetman, Waldemar Rymowicz, Magdalena Rakicka, and Anita Rywińska

Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wrocław, Poland



Abstract: With the problems related to chemical methods of pyruvic acid (PA) synthesis, a fast-growing interest has been observed in research aiming at reducing the production cost of PA by applying biotechnological methods. This study aimed to investigate the potential applicability of Yarrowia lipolytica Wratislavia 1.31 yeast strain for valorisation of pure and crude glycerol through the production of industrially desired PA. Conditions required for the effective PA biosynthesis, i.e., pH value, thiamine concentration, agitation, and substrate concentration, were examined in batch and fed-batch cultivation modes. The efficient production of PA occurred under the limitation of thiamine (1 µg L−1) and was stimulated by moderate pH (4.5) and agitation (800 rev min−1) of the culture. Under optimal conditions, Y. lipolytica Wratislavia 1.31 was able to produce 85.2 g L−1 of PA with volumetric productivity of 0.90 g L−1 h−1. The yield of PA biosynthesis reached a high level of 1.03 g g−1. Obtained results confirmed the aptitude of Y. lipolytica yeast to produce high amounts of PA from simple glycerol-containing media. Presented process was very promising and might be considered as an attractive alternative for currently used chemical methods of PA synthesis.

Keywords: Pyruvic acid production ; α-ketoglutaric acid ; Glycerol ; Yarrowia lipolytica ; Culture conditions 

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-018-0513-8


Chemical Papers 72 (12) 3077–3083 (2018)

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