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Keywords:

  • Biocalorimetry;
  • Metabolism;
  • Yeast

Abstract

The high halotolerance, simple cultivation, potentially easy downstream processing together with a broad substrate spectrum raises growing interest in the non-conventional oleaginous yeast Debaryomyces hansenii as a cell factory for the chemical and food industry. Moreover, the potential of non-conventional yeasts for the decontamination of the environment and as possible hosts for biosensor developments are still unexplored. However, non-conventional yeasts often respond in a highly complex manner to unfavorable conditions. Exploiting the potential of these yeasts on a technical scale requires the development and testing of robust monitoring tools providing deeper and real-time insight into metabolism. Calorimetry is ideal for this particular process since it measures the entirety of metabolic processes, while indicating changes immediately and allowing the quantitative description of regulatory processes when combined with further online and offline analytics. Furthermore, recent calorimetric developments promise applicability under technical “dirty” conditions and suitability for high-throughput measurements. To demonstrate the analytical potential of calorimetry for the characterization of the highly complex yeast metabolism, the heat production rate and the dynamics of key metabolites were assayed at different salinities. Strong correlations between these features were observed, and the complex heat pattern reflected the dynamics of key metabolites quantitatively.