Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Biological Sciences


Biological Sciences

Major Professor

Clancy, Mary

Second Advisor

Timpte, Candace

Third Advisor

Burt-Utley, Kathleen


Developing microbial systems capable of converting low cost lipids into value added products depends on the ability to acquire substrates from the growth media. Saccharomyces cerevisiae can acquire free fatty acids from the growth media and a portion of these lipids can be converted into new lipid products. However, they cannot acquire complex lipids from the growth media unless a nonspecific lipase is included. To circumvent lipase addition, we are genetically engineering S. cerevisiae to secrete a lipase into the growth media. We selected the LIP2 gene from Yarrowia lipolytica, which encodes a nonspecific lipase. Several modifications were made to the LIP2 gene to improve processing. Results identified strains secreting the most lipase. From these results, high producing strains were inserted into an oil inducible vector. Halo assays confirmed lipase secretion, while measuring the fatty acid composition confirmed triacylglycerol breakdown, and yeast uptake of the free fatty acids released.


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