Rhamnolipids production from sucrose by engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Journal article, 2018

Biosurfactants are biological tensioactive agents that can be used in the cosmetic and food industries. Rhamnolipids are glycolipid biosurfactants naturally produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and are composed of one or two rhamnose molecules linked to beta-hydroxy fatty acid chains. These compounds are green alternatives to petrochemical surfactants, but their large-scale production is still in its infancy, hindered due to pathogenicity of natural producer, high substrate and purification costs and low yields and productivities. This study, for the first time, aimed at producing mono-rhamnolipids from sucrose by recombinant GRAS Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains. Six enzymes from P. aeruginosa involved in mono-rhamnolipid biosynthesis were functionally expressed in the yeast. Furthermore, its SUC2 invertase gene was disrupted and a sucrose phosphorylase gene from Pelomonas saccharophila was also expressed to reduce the pathway's overall energy requirement. Two strains were constructed aiming to produce mono-rhamnolipids and the pathway's intermediate dTDP-L-rhamnose. Production of both molecules was analyzed by confocal microscopy and mass spectrometry, respectively. These strains displayed, for the first time as a proof of concept, the potential of production of these molecules by a GRAS eukaryotic microorganism from an inexpensive substrate. These constructs show the potential to further improve rhamnolipids production in a yeast-based industrial bioprocess.


Frederico Mendonça Bahia Silva

University of Brasilia

Gabriela Carneiro de Almeida

Catholic University of Brasília

Lorena Pereira De Andrade

University of Brasilia

Christiane Gonçalves Campos

Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa)

Federal University of Goiás

Lúcio Rezende Queiroz

University of Brasilia

Rayane Luzia Vieira Da Silva

Catholic University of Brasília

Patrícia Verardi Abdelnur

Federal University of Goiás

Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa)

José Raimundo Corrêa

University of Brasilia

Maurizio Bettiga

EviKrets Biobased Processes Consultants

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Industrial Biotechnology

Nádia Skorupa-Parachin

University of Brasilia

Scientific Reports

2045-2322 (ISSN)

Vol. 8 1 2905

Subject Categories

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Biocatalysis and Enzyme Technology



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