Recently, the team of Professor Huang He from the School of Food and Pharmaceutical Engineering of Nanjing Normal University published a forward-looking paper Thraustochytrid Cell Factories for Producing Lipid Compounds in the top biotechnology journal Trends in Biotechnology (IF=14.34). The potential of bacteria as cell factories in the production of lipid chemicals. The first author of the paper is Sun Xiaoman from the School of Food and Pharmaceutical Engineering, and Professor Huang He is the corresponding author. Mr. Sun Xiaoman has been engaged in Schizochytrium-related work with Professor Huang He since his master’s and Ph.D., and is currently actively developing the research direction of using synthetic biology tools to enhance the production of lipid compounds by Schizochytrium
Lipid compounds have important applications in many fields, especially in the fields of medicines and functional foods, which accounted for more than 40%of the market profit in 2018. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and terpenoids are representative lipid compounds, which are in great demand in the market. At present, polyunsaturated fatty acids and terpenoid lipid compounds are mainly natural extraction and chemical synthesis. Natural extraction has shortcomings such as limited resources, large influence by environmental factors such as seasons, and unsustainability. However, the use of chemical synthesis methods has problems such as complicated synthesis steps, low process yield, and serious environmental pollution. The use of microbial fermentation to produce a series of lipid compounds has the advantages of low environmental pollution, wide sources of raw materials, good safety of the produced oils, and good product quality. The sustainable and efficient production of lipid compounds through microbial fermentation can break through the bottleneck problem of the development and utilization of natural products.
Schizochytrium cells can accumulate a large number of lipid compounds useful to the human body. The bacteria can grow and reproduce through heterotrophic growth. Through the preliminary strain screening and fermentation conditions control by Professor Huang He’s team, the dry cell weight can reach 200 g/L, oil accounts for more than 70%of the dry cell weight, and its safety has been certified by the FDA. The early-stage project team selected Schizochytrium as the base strain for synthesizing ω-3 series of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and has successfully realized the industrialization of DHA, and the output has reached the highest level reported. Therefore, choosing Schizochytrium as the base cell for the synthesis of lipid compounds, expanding from the synthesis of DHA to the synthesis of EPA and terpenoids, has the technical conditions to realize industrial production. This paper comprehensively explained the potential of Schizochytrium from the aspects of substrate utilization, lipid synthesis pathway and fermentation process control.
Source of the paper:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167779920302729