Palm oil is an important ingredient of food and biofuel, but its production leads to the clearance of rain forests. Certain fungi produce lipids that are chemically very similar to palm oil, and these microbially-produced lipids are therefore an attractive sustainable alternative.
In this project we study several fungi that accumulate lipids. We aim to understand the genetic regulation of lipid accumulation, and to increase the production of these lipids.
This project is funded by a grant from NWO (Dutch Research Council) awarded to Robin Ohm.
Figure. Some fungi accumulate high amounts of lipids inside their cells
Genomics and Transcriptomics Analyses of the Oil-Accumulating Basidiomycete Yeast Trichosporon oleaginosus: Insights into Substrate Utilization and Alternative Evolutionary Trajectories of Fungal Mating Systems.Kourist R, Bracharz F, Lorenzen J, Kracht ON, Chovatia M, Daum C, Deshpande S, Lipzen A, Nolan M, Ohm RA, Grigoriev IV, Sun S, Heitman J, Bruck T, Nowrousian MmBio. 2015 Jul; 6(4): e00918. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00918-15