Candida bombicola

Taxonomy: Eukaryota; Fungi/Metazoa group; Fungi; Dikarya; Ascomycota; Saccharomycotina; Saccharomycetes; Saccharomycetes incertae sedis; Starmerella


Surfactants or surface-active compounds are a structurally diverse group of molecules consisting of hydrophilic and hydrophobic domains that tend to partition preferentially at the interface between fluid phases. Surfactants are widely used in the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and cleaning industries. With the advantages of biodegradability, low ecotoxicity and the production on renewable-resource substrates, biosurfactants may eventually replace their chemically synthesised counterparts. Most known biosurfactants are glycolipids. They are carbohydrates in combination with long-chain aliphatic acids or hydroxyalyphatic acids. Rhamnolipids, in wich one or two molecules of rhamnose are linked to one or two molecules of ß-hydroxydecanoic acid, are the best studied glycolipids. Glycolipid production by Candida bombicola is studied as a model for fat utilization for biosurfactant production.

The genome sequence of C. bombicola can lead us to develop an efficient transformation and expression system and the key regulators to engineer a strain for specific glycolipid synthesis.

In collaboration with:



Van Bogaert, M., Holvoet, K., Roelants, S. L.K.W, Li, B., Lin, Y.-C., Van de Peer, Y., Soetaert, W. (2013) The biosynthetic gene cluster for sophorolipids: a biotechnological interesting biosurfactant produced by Starmerella bombicola. Molecular Microbiology 88(3):501-9.

Roelants, S. L.K.W, Saerens, K.M., Derycke, T., Li, B., Lin, Y.-C., Van de Peer, Y., De Maeseneire, S.L., Van Bogaert, M., Soetaert, W. (2013) Candida bombicola as a platform organism for the production of tailor-made biomolecules. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 110(9):2494-503.

Ciesielska, K., Li, B., Groeneboer, S., Van Bogaert, M., Lin, Y.-C., Soetaert, W., Van de Peer, Y., Devreese, B. (2013) SILAC-based proteome analysis of Starmerella bombicola sophorolipid production. Journal of Proteome Research 12(10):4376-92.

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Bioinformatics & Evolutionary Genomics
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