Biological and Agricultural Engineering

January 20 – BAE Departmental Seminar: Dr. Kyria Boundy-Mills, Curator, Phaff Yeast Culture Collection

Tuesday, January 20, 2015
1:10 PM

2045 Bainer Hall



Identification of yeasts with superior properties for biofuels applications



Dr. Kyria Boundy-Mills

Curator, Phaff Yeast Culture Collection

University of California, Davis



The Phaff Yeast Culture Collection is the fourth largest collection of its kind in the world, with over 7,000 strains belonging to over 800 different species of yeast. Because most yeasts in the collection were isolated from decaying plant matter, they are particularly amenable to use in conversion of lignocellulosic material to value-added products. Recent collaborative projects to be described in this seminar have involved screening large numbers of strains for useful properties. One long-term aim has been to develop technologies related to conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to oil using oleaginous (high oil) yeasts. Seventeen new oleaginous yeast species were identified in recent years, bringing the total number of known oleaginous yeast species to 70. The fatty acid profiles of dozens of high-oil yeast species were determined, when grown under three different growth conditions. The ability of 45 oleaginous yeast species to utilize the carbon sources, and tolerate the inhibitors, associated with lignocellulosic hydrolysates was determined. Yeasts able to use the sugars and tolerate the inhibitors present in AFEX-pretreated corn stover hydrolysate were tested for ability to grow in this hydrolysate. Several yeasts were able to grow, one producing over 15 g/L lipids. In the course of these studies, several yeasts were discovered that could accumulate intracellular triacylglycerols, and also synthesize and secrete significant quantities of glycolipids called sophorolipids, which are used as biosurfactants. Other studies include discovery of yeasts able to tolerate ionic liquids, and yeasts able to convert hydrolysates to protein. All these studies have been possible thanks to many collaborators at UC Davis and other institutions, and access to thousands of diverse yeast strains.


Coffee and cookies will be served.


2045 Bainer Hall University of California Davis

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