About this Research Topic
Microbial lipids are potential candidates and resources for the sustainable production of biofuels and value-added bioproducts as an alternative route and replacement of petro-based hydrocarbons and chemicals. A number of microorganisms have the ability to accumulate substantial amounts of oil, sometimes in excess of 70% of their biomass weight, under specific fermentation conditions. Microorganisms that contain more than 25% of lipids in their cell biomass are usually considered oleaginous. For example, endophytic oleaginous fungi with high lipid-accumulating capabilities can be isolated from oil-rich seeds and plants.
Current industrial microbiology and biotechnology applications make use of low-cost, oil-based and lignocellulosic waste such grease-containing wastewater, glycerol, beef tallow, municipal, agricultural and forestry residues as raw materials for production of high-value single-cell oils, lipids and volatile organic compounds. The process of microbial lipids production has two distinct advantages: 1) it does not affect food costs and security; and 2) it can be accomplished under controlled conditions that are not dependent on soils conditions, weather, etc.
Recent advances in submerged fermentation, solid state fermentation, modeling of biological systems, bioreactor design, scale-up process control, metabolic and genetic engineering have enabled production of microbial lipids in large quantities with tailored fatty acid profiles that fit their application in food, feed, oleochemical and biofuel industries. This research topic covers recent trends in the economically feasible microbial production of lipids and their potential industrial applications.
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.