Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering 2019; 24(3): 522-528  
The Influences of Supplemental Vegetable Oils on the Growth and β-carotene Accumulation of Oleaginous Yeast- Rhodotorula glutinis
Hong-Wei Yen1,3,*, Gowthami Palanisamy2, and Guo-Chih Su1
1Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Tunghai University, Taiwan
2College of General Education, Chosun University, Gwangju 61452, Korea
3Patel College, University of South Florida, USA
Correspondence to: Hong-Wei Yen
Tel: +886-4-23590262; Fax: +886-4-23590009
Received: January 23, 2019; Revised: February 12, 2019; Accepted: March 3, 2019; Published online: June 30, 2019.
© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering. All rights reserved.

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An oleaginous red yeast, Rhodotorula glutinis, synthesizes numerous compounds of industrial value, including those used as a source of microbial lipids for biodiesel applications. It can also be used to synthesize value-added products such as β-carotene, which are commonly used in several industries. Several vegetable oils are used in the medium as a supplemental carbon source for the enhancement of lipid and β-carotene accumulation. Among them, the supplemental of 25 g/L palm oil leads to the 71% increase of biomass as compared to that of the control batch in the agitation fermenter. The addition of palm oil not only improved the biomass yield but also enhanced the growth rate as well, where maximum growth rates of 0.32 and 0.27 g/L h were obtained with and without the addition of palm oil, respectively. The high biomass obtained will certainly lead to more total lipids and β-carotene accumulated. A comparison of an agitator bioreactor and an airlift bioreactor for biomass, total lipids, and β-carotene production was performed using palm oil as the supplemental carbon source. The shear force in the agitator bioreactor regulated the mixing of the palm oil in the medium, which increased the biomass production. The addition of palm oil slightly altered the fatty acid composition, which stearic acid (C18:0), oleic acid (C18:1) and linoleic acid (C18:2) were the predominant fatty acids in the microbial lipids of R. glutiniss. The results of this study suggest that an agitation bioreactor with palm oil supplementation increases biomass concentration and eventually increases β-carotene production.
Keywords: oleaginous red yeast, Rhodotorula glutinis, lipid, β-carotene, palm oil, bioreactors.

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