Research progress: High production of squalene using a newly isolated yeast-like strain

[2015.9.9] Squalene is a natural antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS).However, the extensive use of squalene in industry is hampered by limited resources and its relatively high price. So, we developed a fermentation process with high-yield of squalene using a newly isolated yeast-like strain Pseudozyma sp. SD301. The results have been published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry on Sep 9, 2015.

Squalene (2,6,10,15,19,23-hexamethyltetracosa-2,6,10,14,18,-22-hexane; C30H50) is a linear polyunsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbon occurring naturally in almost all organisms. The most important role of squalene is providing the backbone for the biosynthesis of cholesterol, bile acids, and steroids. In addition to these biosynthesis functions, squalene is a natural antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals and reactive oxygen species, and it provides stabilization of non-bilayer structures in the retinal rod outer segment membranes due to its effectiveness as a singlet oxygen quencher. Currently, squalene is mainly used as a moisturizing agent and an emollient in the cosmetic industry, and it has garnered more attention because of its potential applications in pharmaceuticals.

The liver oil of deep sea sharks is the major source of squalene. However, the continuous supply and future availability of squalene are limited. Although numerous attempts have been made to produce squalene from plants and microorganisms, squalene production is still very low for commercial use. In this study, we identified a novel yeast-like strain that possessed the highest squalene productivity so far. This isolate, termed Pseudozyma sp. SD 301, proved its strong potential in commercial squalene production.

The research was supervised by Prof. Qiu Cui, and was financially supported by the 863 Program from Ministry of Science and Technology of China, the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

NCBI PubMed 

Xiaojin Song*, Xiaolong Wang, Yanzhen Tan, Yingang Feng, Wenli Li and Qiu Cui* (2015) High production of squalene using a newly isolated yeast-like strain Pseudozyma sp. SD301. J. Agric. Food Chem. In press. (*Corresponding author) [Full text (Publisher website)]