Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

Biochemical profiling, prediction of total lipid content and fatty acid profile in oleaginous yeasts by FTIR spectroscopy

Shapaval, Volha; Brandenburg, Jule; Blomqvist, Johanna; Tafintseva, Valeria; Passoth, Volkmar; Sandgren, Mats; Kohler, Achim


BackgroundOleaginous yeasts are considered as a potential lipid source for food, feed and biofuel production. In order to make the yeast-based lipid production environmentally and economically sustainable, there is a need for screening studies in order to find the best yeast lipid producers on different substrates, and to optimize cultivation conditions. Since the target parameter of such screening studies are lipid amounts and profiles, an analytical technique that is able to perform lipid analyses rapidly, reproducible and with high precision is highly desirable. The main objective of this study was to establish the non-invasive high-throughput Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy analysis for the prediction of lipid content and profile in oleaginous yeasts.ResultsHigh-throughput FTIR spectroscopy allowed characterizing the total biochemical profile of oleaginous yeasts and enabled us to identify strains and substrate(s) providing the highest total lipid content. Some of the yeast strains grown under nitrogen-limiting conditions with glucose/xylose/mixture of glucose and xylose as carbon sources were accumulating lipids with a high proportion of free fatty acids. FTIR spectra were used to predict gravimetric and gas chromatography data by establishing multivariate calibration models. Coefficients of determination (R-2) for calibration models were obtained in a range between 0.62 and 0.92 for predicting lipid content. When using an independent test set, R-2 values between 0.53 and 0.79 were achieved for predicting fatty acid profile. The best spectral region(s) for the prediction of total lipid content was 3100-2800cm(-1) combined with 1800-700cm(-1), and for prediction of summed saturated (SAT), monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids: 3100-2800cm(-1), 3100-2800cm(-1) combined with 1700-1715cm(-1) and 3100-2800cm(-1) combined with 1800-1715cm(-1), respectively. The highest lipid accumulation was observed for strains Rhodotorula babjevae DBVPG 8058 on glucose and mixture of glucose and xylose and Lipomyces starkeyi CBS 2512 on xylose.ConclusionsApplying FTIR spectroscopy combined with multivariate data analysis allows performing rapid, non-invasive, reproducible and precise quantitative predictions of total lipid content and lipid profile. It allows also detecting different lipid fractions as triacylglycerols (TAGs) and free fatty acids and evaluating the total biochemical profile of cells. Several yeast strains with high lipid accumulation were identified.


FTIR spectroscopy; Lipids; Oleaginous yeasts; Total lipid content; Lipid profile; Biodiesel

Published in

Biotechnology for Biofuels
2019, Volume: 12, article number: 140
Publisher: BMC

      SLU Authors

        • Sustainable Development Goals

          SDG2 End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
          SDG12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

          UKÄ Subject classification

          Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

          Publication identifier


          Permanent link to this page (URI)