Next Article in Journal
A Transient Receptor Potential-like Calcium Ion Channel in the Filamentous Fungus Aspergillus nidulans
Previous Article in Journal
Multigene Phylogeny and Morphology Reveal Unexpectedly High Number of New Species of Cantharellus Subgenus Parvocantharellus (Hydnaceae, Cantharellales) in China
Article

Elucidation of the Natural Function of Sophorolipids Produced by Starmerella bombicola

Centre for Industrial Biotechnology and Biocatalysis (InBio.be), Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Aaron Neiman
J. Fungi 2021, 7(11), 917; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7110917
Received: 5 October 2021 / Revised: 22 October 2021 / Accepted: 22 October 2021 / Published: 28 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Cell Biology, Metabolism and Physiology)
The yeast Starmerella bombicola distinguishes itself from other yeasts by its potential of producing copious amounts of the secondary metabolites sophorolipids (SLs): these are glycolipid biosurfactants composed out of a(n) (acetylated) sophorose moiety and a lipid tail. Although SLs are the subject of numerous research papers and have been commercialized, e.g., in eco-friendly cleaning solutions, the natural function of SLs still remains elusive. This research article investigates several hypotheses for why S. bombicola invests that much energy in the production of SLs, and we conclude that the main natural function of SLs in S. bombicola is niche protection: (1) the extracellular storage of an energy-rich, yet metabolically less accessible carbon source that can be utilized by S. bombicola upon conditions of starvation with (2) antimicrobial properties. In this way, S. bombicola creates a dual advantage in competition with other microorganisms. Additionally, SLs can expedite growth on rapeseed oil, composed of triacylglycerols which are hydrophobic substrates present in the yeasts’ environment, for a non-SL producing strain (Δcyp52M1). It was also found that—at least under lab conditions—SLs do not provide protection against high osmotic pressure prevalent in sugar-rich environments such as honey or nectar present in the natural habitat of S. bombicola. View Full-Text
Keywords: Starmerella bombicola; biosurfactants; sophorolipids; physiological function; natural role; antimicrobial; exclusive storage compound Starmerella bombicola; biosurfactants; sophorolipids; physiological function; natural role; antimicrobial; exclusive storage compound
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

De Clercq, V.; Roelants, S.L.K.W.; Castelein, M.G.; De Maeseneire, S.L.; Soetaert, W.K. Elucidation of the Natural Function of Sophorolipids Produced by Starmerella bombicola. J. Fungi 2021, 7, 917. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7110917

AMA Style

De Clercq V, Roelants SLKW, Castelein MG, De Maeseneire SL, Soetaert WK. Elucidation of the Natural Function of Sophorolipids Produced by Starmerella bombicola. Journal of Fungi. 2021; 7(11):917. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7110917

Chicago/Turabian Style

De Clercq, Veerle, Sophie L.K.W. Roelants, Martijn G. Castelein, Sofie L. De Maeseneire, and Wim K. Soetaert. 2021. "Elucidation of the Natural Function of Sophorolipids Produced by Starmerella bombicola" Journal of Fungi 7, no. 11: 917. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7110917

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop