Research Topic

Physiology, Application, and Bioengineering of Oleaginous Microorganisms

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Oleaginous strains of bacteria, yeast and fungi have attracted considerable attention because of their demonstrated ability to accumulate significant levels of microbial lipid, a potential alternative feedstock for the production of fungible biofuels with high energy density. Oleaginous strains capable of ...

Oleaginous strains of bacteria, yeast and fungi have attracted considerable attention because of their demonstrated ability to accumulate significant levels of microbial lipid, a potential alternative feedstock for the production of fungible biofuels with high energy density. Oleaginous strains capable of accumulating high lipids have also attracted a great deal of interest from the scientific community because they offer unique opportunities to explore metabolic capabilities for carbon rerouting and other intracellular metabolic shifts in response to changes in culture conditions such as nitrogen limitation. Understanding the underlying physiology and cellular metabolism can shed light on the molecular mechanisms for lipid accumulation in the cells. The oleaginous strains have been harnessed as novel microbial cell factories for overproduction of lipid, oleochemical, and other high-value bioproducts by reprogramming lipid metabolism.

Investigation of microbial physiology and metabolism deciphers the mechanism of lipogenesis in the highly productive oleaginous strains. The advancement of systems biology provides “big picture” information including the global gene programs, protein profiles, or metabolomics underlying the lipid overproduction observed. Bioprocess has been developed for lipid production by cultivation of oleaginous strains on diverse renewable feedstock including lignocellulosic sugars, and more recently the substrate ranges for microbial lipid production were broadened to include lignin-derived compounds. The development of a comprehensive molecular toolbox allows for more efficient genetic manipulation of the selected non-conventional oleaginous strains as emerging microbial chassis towards biosynthesis of lipid-based chemicals and biofuels.

Although great accomplishments have been achieved in this significant field, there is no specific issue in a refereed journal focusing on microbial physiology, metabolism, and applications of oleaginous strains. To fill the knowledge gaps, this Research Topic aims to provide an effective communication platform to update the advancement in systematic understanding of metabolism, bioprocess development, synthetic biology tools and approaches, and metabolic engineering of oleaginous strains. It will provide a deep insight on metabolic regulation and microbial physiology in oleaginous strains, especially pertaining to lipid synthesis, and further represent an essential landmark in novel cell factory design and engineering, with particular emphasis on biosynthesis of lipid-based bioproduct and biofuels.

This Research Topic welcomes Original Research, Perspective articles, and Review papers addressing:
• Microbial physiology and metabolism of oleaginous strains for lipid accumulation;
• Transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics analyses of oleaginous microorganisms;
• Modeling in systems biology of oleaginous microorganisms;
• Novel bioprocess for lipid production by using oleaginous microorganisms;
• Isolation, characterization, and application of novel oleaginous strains;
• Development of molecular tools to genetically engineer oleaginous microorganisms;
• Metabolic engineering and adaptive evolution of oleaginous microorganisms for improvement of lipid production;
• Synthetic biology of oleaginous microorganisms leading to production of novel renewable chemicals;
• Comments, discussion, and review of past achievements and prospective orientation.


Keywords: oleaginous microorganisms, lipid, fatty acid metabolism, lipogenesis


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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