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Sophorolipid production in Starmerella bombicola under different nitrogen conditions

Nicolas de Fooz (UGent) , Sophie Roelants (UGent) , Marilyn De Graeve (UGent) , Karolien Maes, Lynn Vanhaecke (UGent) and Wim Soetaert (UGent)
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Abstract
Microbial biosurfactants are currently emerging as fully bio-based and renewable alternatives to traditional petroleum-based surfactants. The yeast Starmerella bombicola is a known producer of glycolipid surfactants and through genetic engineering, the portfolio of biosurfactants has been expanded towards new innovative compounds such as bolaform sophorosides. Despite their interesting properties and potential applications, the low productivity of their biosynthesis currently does not allow the process to be economically viable. In this work, the bottlenecks leading to low productivity are tackled through bioprocess development. Sophorolipid production in Starmerella bombicola is generally assumed to be induced under high initial C/N (carbon-to-nitrogen) ratio and production onset to initiate under nitrogen and / or phosphate depletion. We assessed the effect of nitrogen availability under the form of ammonia and yeast assimilable nitrogen (YAN) on growth and sophorolipid production. With the aim to further increase yield and productivities, the total nitrogen concentration was increased multiple fold in a high cell density set-up. Typically such bioprocess development is combined with targeted and off-line analyses of substrates and bioproducts. However, these analyses do not provide any information about unknown underlying biochemical ‘marker’ pathways/metabolites influencing biosurfactant production. Additionally, the off-line and delayed follow-up often results in measures not taken timely. Therefore, a metabolomics approach to monitor the fermentation in real-time is being developed in parallel to the bioprocess development. The metabolic fingerprint of the bioprocess is monitored using an untargeted automated laser-assisted rapid evaporative ionisation mass spectrometry (LA-REIMS) platform and subsequently correlated to the bioprocess efficiency. This metabolomics approach, reflective of the complex interplay between microbial kinetics and dynamic environmental changes in bioreactors, should speed up bioprocess development. Moreover, a successful at-line metabolomics approach would be a powerful tool in the monitoring of (industrial) fermentations.
Keywords
bioreactor, nitrogen, bioeconomy, industrial microbiology, starmerella bombicola, metabolomics

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MLA
de Fooz, Nicolas, et al. “Sophorolipid Production in Starmerella Bombicola under Different Nitrogen Conditions.” International Conference on Renewable Resources & Biorefineries, 18th, Abstracts, 2022.
APA
de Fooz, N., Roelants, S., De Graeve, M., Maes, K., Vanhaecke, L., & Soetaert, W. (2022). Sophorolipid production in Starmerella bombicola under different nitrogen conditions. International Conference on Renewable Resources & Biorefineries, 18th, Abstracts. Presented at the 18th International Conference on Renewable Resources and Biorefineries (RRB 2022), Bruges, Belgium.
Chicago author-date
Fooz, Nicolas de, Sophie Roelants, Marilyn De Graeve, Karolien Maes, Lynn Vanhaecke, and Wim Soetaert. 2022. “Sophorolipid Production in Starmerella Bombicola under Different Nitrogen Conditions.” In International Conference on Renewable Resources & Biorefineries, 18th, Abstracts.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
de Fooz, Nicolas, Sophie Roelants, Marilyn De Graeve, Karolien Maes, Lynn Vanhaecke, and Wim Soetaert. 2022. “Sophorolipid Production in Starmerella Bombicola under Different Nitrogen Conditions.” In International Conference on Renewable Resources & Biorefineries, 18th, Abstracts.
Vancouver
1.
de Fooz N, Roelants S, De Graeve M, Maes K, Vanhaecke L, Soetaert W. Sophorolipid production in Starmerella bombicola under different nitrogen conditions. In: International Conference on Renewable Resources & Biorefineries, 18th, Abstracts. 2022.
IEEE
[1]
N. de Fooz, S. Roelants, M. De Graeve, K. Maes, L. Vanhaecke, and W. Soetaert, “Sophorolipid production in Starmerella bombicola under different nitrogen conditions,” in International Conference on Renewable Resources & Biorefineries, 18th, Abstracts, Bruges, Belgium, 2022.
@inproceedings{8754486,
  abstract     = {{Microbial biosurfactants are currently emerging as fully bio-based and renewable alternatives to traditional petroleum-based surfactants. The yeast Starmerella bombicola is a known producer of glycolipid surfactants and through genetic engineering, the portfolio of biosurfactants has been expanded towards new innovative compounds such as bolaform sophorosides. Despite their interesting properties and potential applications, the low productivity of their biosynthesis currently does not allow the process to be economically viable. In this work, the bottlenecks leading to low productivity are tackled through bioprocess development. 
Sophorolipid production in Starmerella bombicola is generally assumed to be induced under high initial C/N (carbon-to-nitrogen) ratio and production onset to initiate under nitrogen and / or phosphate depletion. We assessed the effect of nitrogen availability under the form of ammonia and yeast assimilable nitrogen (YAN) on growth and sophorolipid production. With the aim to further increase yield and productivities, the total nitrogen concentration was increased multiple fold in a high cell density set-up.
 
Typically such bioprocess development is combined with targeted and off-line analyses of substrates and bioproducts. However, these analyses do not provide any information about unknown underlying biochemical ‘marker’ pathways/metabolites influencing biosurfactant production. Additionally, the off-line and delayed follow-up often results in measures not taken timely. Therefore, a metabolomics approach to monitor the fermentation in real-time is being developed in parallel to the bioprocess development. The metabolic fingerprint of the bioprocess is monitored using an untargeted automated laser-assisted rapid evaporative ionisation mass spectrometry (LA-REIMS) platform and subsequently correlated to the bioprocess efficiency. This metabolomics approach, reflective of the complex interplay between microbial kinetics and dynamic environmental changes in bioreactors, should speed up bioprocess development. Moreover, a successful at-line metabolomics approach would be a powerful tool in the monitoring of (industrial) fermentations.}},
  author       = {{de Fooz, Nicolas and Roelants, Sophie and De Graeve, Marilyn and Maes, Karolien and Vanhaecke, Lynn and Soetaert, Wim}},
  booktitle    = {{International Conference on Renewable Resources & Biorefineries, 18th, Abstracts}},
  keywords     = {{bioreactor,nitrogen,bioeconomy,industrial microbiology,starmerella bombicola,metabolomics}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  location     = {{Bruges, Belgium}},
  title        = {{Sophorolipid production in Starmerella bombicola under different nitrogen conditions}},
  year         = {{2022}},
}