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Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

Genome-scale model of Rhodotorula toruloides metabolism

Tiukova, Ievgeniia A.; Prigent, Sylvain; Nielsen, Jens; Sandgren, Mats; Kerkhoven, Eduard J.


The basidiomycete red yeast Rhodotorula toruloides is a promising platform organism for production of biooils. We present rhto-GEM, the first genome-scale model (GEM) of R. toruloides metabolism, that was largely reconstructed using RAVEN toolbox. The model includes 852 genes, 2,731 reactions, and 2,277 metabolites, while lipid metabolism is described using the SLIMEr formalism allowing direct integration of lipid class and acyl chain experimental distribution data. The simulation results confirmed that the R. toruloides model provides valid growth predictions on glucose, xylose, and glycerol, while prediction of genetic engineering targets to increase production of linolenic acid, triacylglycerols, and carotenoids identified genes-some of which have previously been engineered to successfully increase production. This renders rtho-GEM valuable for future studies to improve the production of other oleochemicals of industrial relevance including value-added fatty acids and carotenoids, in addition to facilitate system-wide omics-data analysis in R. toruloides. Expanding the portfolio of GEMs for lipid-accumulating fungi contributes to both understanding of metabolic mechanisms of the oleaginous phenotype but also uncover particularities of the lipid production machinery in R. toruloides.


genome-scale model; metabolism; Rhodotorula toruloides; yeast

Published in

Biotechnology and Bioengineering
2019, Volume: 116, number: 12, pages: 3396-3408
Publisher: WILEY

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