Researchers Identify a Carotenoid Biosynthetic Gene in Rhodosporidium toruloides
Rhodosporidium toruloides is a red yeast species which produces carotenoids,
making it a potential carotenoid cell factory. Hence, in exploring the
feasibility of producing value-added oleochemicals and pigments, R.
toruloides is of interest. Researchers from various universities in China,
led by Wenyi Sun, aimed to identify a carotenoid biosynthetic gene.
The team focused on the RHTO_04602 locus of R. toruloides NP11, assigned to
code the carotenoid biosynthetic gene CRTI. The team cloned the CRT1 and was
then used to transform R. toruloides cells via Agrobacterium-mediated
transformation, resulting in white yeast transformants.
Analysis of these transformants confirmed the inactivation of CRTI. When
these white variants were transformed with a CRTI-expression cassette, cells
became red and produced carotenoids similar to the wild-type strain NP11.
These data confirmed the function of RHTO_04602 in carotenoid biosynthesis
in R. toruloides. It will be a foundation for metabolic engineering of the
yeast for industrial applications.
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