Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
REDUCING BYPRODUCTION OF MALONATES IN A FERMENTATION PROCESS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2010/080388
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Described are methods of reducing the amount of byproduct organic acids during fermentation of an organism, based on expression of a heterologous malonyl-CoA synthetase. A polyunsaturated fatty acid ["PUFA"]-producing strain of the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica was engineered to express a heterologous malonyl-CoA synthetase gene. The expression did not effect the production of PUFAs, but did result in a reduced amount of malonates when compared to the amount of malonates produced in the parental strain not expressing malonyl-CoA synthetase.

Inventors:
XUE, Zhixiong (111 Harvey Lane, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, 19317-9728, US)
ZHU, Quinn, Qun (544 Revere Road, West Chester, Pennsylvania, 19382, US)
Application Number:
US2009/068000
Publication Date:
July 15, 2010
Filing Date:
December 15, 2009
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
E. I. DU PONT DE NEMOURS AND COMPANY (1007 Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 19898, US)
XUE, Zhixiong (111 Harvey Lane, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, 19317-9728, US)
ZHU, Quinn, Qun (544 Revere Road, West Chester, Pennsylvania, 19382, US)
International Classes:
C12N1/19; C12N9/00; C12P7/64
Domestic Patent References:
2006-11-23
2006-11-23
2006-04-27
2006-05-18
2005-05-26
1999-06-10
2007-05-31
2008-06-19
Foreign References:
US6939691B12005-09-06
US20030073205A12003-04-17
US6939691B12005-09-06
US20030073205A12003-04-17
US7238482B22007-07-03
US20050132442A12005-06-16
US7125672B22006-10-24
US5107065A1992-04-21
US4683202A1987-07-28
US7001772B22006-02-21
US4880741A1989-11-14
US5071764A1991-12-10
US7259255B22007-08-21
US7214491B22007-05-08
US7465564B22008-12-16
US7550286B22009-06-23
US7588931B22009-09-15
US20060115881A12006-06-01
US20090093543A12009-04-09
US5366860A1994-11-22
EP0272007A21988-06-22
US20080254191A12008-10-16
US7504259B22009-03-17
US7470532B22008-12-30
US7256033B22007-08-14
US20070292924A12007-12-20
US20070271632A12007-11-22
US7556949B22009-07-07
US24490005008A2008-10-03
Other References:
YOUNG J PETER W ET AL: "The genome of Rhizobium leguminosarum has recognizable core and accessory components" GENOME BIOLOGY, BIOMED CENTRAL LTD., LONDON, GB, vol. 7, no. 4, 26 April 2006 (2006-04-26), page R34, XP021021237 ISSN: 1465-6906 -& DATABASE UniProt [Online] 30 May 2006 (2006-05-30), "SubName: Full=Putative Malonyl CoA synthetase;" XP002574139 retrieved from EBI accession no. UNIPROT:Q1MKL6 Database accession no. Q1MKL6
W. CRUEGER; A. CRUEGER BIOTECHNOLOGY: A TEXTBOOK OF INDUSTRIAL MICROBIOLOGY 1990, pages 124 - 174
B. ATKINSON; F. MAVITUNA: 'Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology Handbook 2nd ed.;', 1991 pages 243 - 364
LOMBO, F. ET AL. BIOTECHNOL. PROG. vol. 17, no. 4, 2001, pages 612 - 7
KIM, Y.S.; S.K. BANG J. BIOL. CHEM. vol. 260, 1985, pages 5098 - 5104
KIM, Y.S.; H.Z. CHAE BIOCHEM. J. vol. 273, 1991, pages 511 - 516
KIM, Y.S.; S.W. KANG BIOCHEM. J. vol. 297, 1994, pages 327 - 333
M.H. RAMIREZ-BAHENA ET AL. INT. J. SYST. EVOL. MICROBIOL. vol. 58, 2008, pages 2484 - 2490
WEETE: 'Fungal Lipid Biochemistry, 2nd Ed.,', 1980, PLENUM
YONGMANITCHAI; WARD APPL. ENVIRON. MICROBIOL. vol. 57, 1991, pages 419 - 25
DISTEL ET AL. J. CELL BIOL. vol. 135, 1996, pages 1 - 3
KIEL, J. A. K. W. ET AL. TRAFFIC vol. 7, 2006, pages 1291 - 1303
SAMBROOK, J.; FRITSCH, E. F.; MANIATIS, T.: 'Molecular Cloninq: A Laboratory Manual, 2nd ed.,', 1989, COLD SPRING HARBOR LABORATORY
ALTSCHUL, S. F. ET AL. J. MOL. BIOL. vol. 215, 1993, pages 403 - 410
MEINKOTH ET AL. ANAL. BIOCHEM. vol. 138, 1984, pages 267 - 284
'Molecular Biology-Hybridization with Nucleic Acid Probes', 1993, ELSEVIER deel 'Overview of principles of hybridization and the strategy of nucleic acid probe assays'
AUSUBEL ET AL.,: 'Current Protocols in Molecular Biology', 1995, GREENE PUBLISHING AND WILEY-INTERSCIENCE deel 'Chapter 2,'
LESK, A. M.,: 'Computational Molecular Bioloqv', 1988
SMITH, D. W.,: 'Biocomputinq: Informatics and Genome Projects', 1993, ACADEMIC
GRIFFIN, A. M., AND GRIFFIN, H. G.,: 'Computer Analysis of Sequence', 1994, HUMANIA
VON HEINJE: 'Sequence Analysis in Molecular Biology', 1987, ACADEMIC
GRIBSKOV, M. AND DEVEREUX, J.: 'Sequence Analysis Primer', 1991
HIGGINS; SHARP CABIOS vol. 5, 1989, pages 151 - 153
HIGGINS, D.G. ET AL. COMPUT. APPL. BIOSCI. vol. 8, 1992, pages 189 - 191
JONES ET AL. EMBO J. vol. 4, 1985, pages 2411 - 2418
DE ALMEIDA ET AL. MOL. GEN. GENETICS vol. 218, 1989, pages 78 - 86
ALTSCHUL ET AL. J. MOL. BIOL. vol. 215, 1990, pages 403 - 410
W. R. PEARSON: 'Comput. Methods Genome Res.', 1992, PLENUM pages 111 - 20
SAMBROOK, J.; FRITSCH, E. F.; MANIATIS, T.: 'Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, 2nd ed.,', 1989, COLD SPRING HARBOR LABORATORY
SILHAVY, T. J.; BENNAN, M. L.; ENQUIST, L. W.: 'Experiments with Gene Fusions', 1984, COLD SPRING HARBOR LABORATORY
AUSUBEL, F. M. ET AL.: 'Current Protocols in Molecular Biology', 1987, GREENE PUBLISHING ASSOC. AND WILEY-INTERSCIENCE
JUNG, J.W. ET AL. PROTEIN SCI. vol. 9, 2000, pages 1294 - 1303
KOO, H.M.; Y.S. KIM ARCH. BIOCHEM. BIOPHYS. vol. 378, no. 1, 2000, pages 167 - 74
ALTSCHUL ET AL. NUCLEIC ACIDS RES. vol. 25, 1997, pages 3389 - 3402
TABOR, S. ET AL. PROC. NATL. ACAD. SCI. U.S.A. vol. 82, 1985, page 1074
WALKER ET AL. PROC. NATL. ACAD. SCI. U.S.A. vol. 89, 1992, page 392
THEIN; WALLACE: 'The use of oligonucleotides as specific hybridization probes in the Diagnosis of Genetic Disorders' HUMAN GENETIC DISEASES: A PRACTICAL APPROACH 1986, pages 33 - 50
HERNDON, VA; RYCHLIK, W. METHODS IN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY vol. 15, 1993, pages 31 - 39
FROHMAN ET AL. PROC. NATL. ACAD. SCI. U.S.A. vol. 85, 1988, page 8998
OHARA ET AL. PROC. NATL. ACAD. SCI. U.S.A. vol. 86, 1989, page 5673
LOH ET AL. SCIENCE vol. 243, 1989, page 217
KIM, Y.S.; S.K. BANG ANAL BIOCHEM. vol. 170, no. 1, 1988, pages 45 - 9
SMITH, S. FASEB J. vol. 8, no. 15, 1994, pages 1248 - 59
SAMBROOK ET AL.: 'Molecular Cloninq: A Laboratory Manual, 2nd ed.,', 1989, COLD SPRING HARBOR LABORATORY
MALIGA ET AL.: 'Methods in Plant Molecular Biology', 1995, COLD SPRING HARBOR
BIRREN ET AL. GENOME ANALYSIS: DETECTING GENES vol. 1, 1998,
BIRREN ET AL.: 'Genome Analysis: Analyzing DNA', vol. 2, 1998, COLD SPRING HARBOR
CLARK,: 'Plant Molecular Bioloqv: A Laboratorv Manual', 1997, SPRINGER
METHODS IN ENZYMO/OGY vol. 194, 1991, pages 186 - 187
SOUTHERN J. MOL. BIOL. vol. 98, no. 1-2, 1975, page 503
KROCZEK J. CHROMATOGR. BIOMED. APPL. vol. 618, no. 1-2, 1993, pages 133 - 145
MACKENZIE ET AL. APPL. ENVIRON. MICROBIOL. vol. 66, 2000, page 4655
PAPANIKOLAOU S.; AGGELIS G. BIORESOUR. TECHNOL. vol. 82, no. 1, 2002, pages 43 - 9
CHEN, D. C. ET AL. APPL. MICROBIOL. BIOTECHNOL. vol. 48, no. 2, 1997, pages 232 - 235
BARTEL, P.L.; FIELDS, S. YEAST 2-HYBRID SYSTEM, OXFORD UNIVERSITY vol. 7, 1997, pages 109 - 147
THOMAS D. BROCK: 'Biotechnology: A Textbook of Industrial Microbioloqv, 2nd ed.,', 1989, SINAUER ASSOCIATES
DESHPANDE, MUKUND V. APPL. BIOCHEM. BIOTECHNOL. vol. 36, 1992, page 227
NAKAHARA, T. ET AL. IND. APPL. SINGLE CELL OILS 1992, pages 61 - 97
T. J. SILHAVY; M. L. BENNAN; L. W. ENQUIST: 'Experiments with Gene Fusions', 1984, COLD SPRING HARBOR LABORATORY
PHILLIPP GERHARDT, R. G. E. MURRAY, RALPH N. COSTILOW, EUGENE W. NESTER, WILLIS A. WOOD, NOEL R. KRIEG AND G. BRIGGS PHILLIPS: 'American Society for Microbiology', 1994
THOMAS D.: 'Brock in Biotechnology: A Textbook of Industrial Microbiology, 2nd ed.,', 1989, SINAUER ASSOCIATES
BLIGH, E. G.; DYER, W. J. CAN. J. BIOCHEM. PHYSIOL. vol. 37, 1959, pages 911 - 917
ROUGHAN, G.; NISHIDA I. ARCH BIOCHEM BIOPHYS. vol. 276, no. 1, 1990, pages 38 - 46
AN, J.H; Y. S. KIM EUR.J. BIOCHEM. vol. 257, 1998, pages 395 - 402
ALTSCHUL, S. F. ET AL. NUCLEIC ACIDS RES. vol. 25, 1997, pages 3389 - 3402
ALTSCHUL, S. F. ET AL. FEBS J. vol. 272, 2005, pages 5101 - 5109
GUHANIYOGI, G.; J. BREWER GENE vol. 265, no. 1-2, 2001, pages 11 - 23
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHRISTENBURY, Lynne, M. (E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Legal Patent Records Center4417 Lancaster Pik, Wilmington Delaware, 19805, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS What is claimed is:

1. A transgenic organism useful in fermentation of at least one product, comprising at least one gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase under control of at least one regulatory sequence; wherein the transgenic organism produces a reduced amount of malonates as a fermentation byproduct compared with the amount of malonates produced by the same organism, whether transgenic or not transgenic, provided that the organism: c) does not comprise a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase; or, d) comprises a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase that is not expressed.

2. The transgenic organism of Claim 1 wherein said organism is selected from the group consisting of algae, fungi, euglenoids, yeast, bacteria and stramenopiles.

3. The transgenic organism of Claim 2, wherein the organism accumulates oil in an amount of at least about 25% of its dry cell weight.

4. The transgenic organism of Claim 3, wherein the organism is an oleaginous yeast selected from the group consisting of Yarrowia, Candida, Rhodotorula, Rhodospoήdium, Cryptococcus, Tήchosporon and Lipomyces.

5. The transgenic organism of Claim 1 , wherein the at least one regulatory sequence comprises a strong promoter.

6. The transgenic organism of Claim 1 or 5, wherein the at least one gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase is in multicopy.

7. The transgenic organism of Claim 1 , wherein the at least one sequence encoding a malonyl-CoA synthetase polypeptide has an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO:2, SEQ ID NO:4, SEQ ID NO:8, SEQ ID NO:9, SEQ ID NO:10, SEQ ID NO:11 , SEQ ID NO:12, SEQ ID NO:13, SEQ ID NO:14, SEQ ID NO:15, SEQ ID NO:16, SEQ ID NO:17, SEQ ID NO:18, SEQ ID NO:19, SEQ ID NO:20, SEQ ID NO:21 and SEQ ID NO:22.

8. The transgenic organism of Claim 7, wherein the at least one sequence encoding a malonyl-CoA synthetase is selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO:1 and SEQ ID NO:3.

9. The transgenic organism of Claim 1 , wherein the titer of the at least one product is not reduced relative to the titer of the at least one product produced by the same organism, whether transgenic or not transgenic, provided that the organism: c) does not comprise a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase; or, d) comprises a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase that is not expressed.

10. The transgenic organism of Claim 1 , wherein said transgenic organism further comprises at least one genetic mutation.

11. The transgenic organism of Claim 10 wherein the at least one genetic mutation is a disruption in at least one native peroxisome biogenesis factor protein.

12. A method for manipulating the content of malonates in a transgenic organism, comprising: a) providing a transgenic organism useful in fermentation of at least one product where the transgenic organism comprises at least one gene encoding a malonyl-CoA synthetase under the control of suitable regulatory sequences; and, b) growing the organism to allow expression of the at least one gene encoding a malonyl-CoA synthetase, such that the transgenic organism makes a reduced amount of malonates as a fermentation byproduct compared with the amount of malonates made by the same organism, whether transgenic or not transgenic, provided that the organism:

(i) does not comprise a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase; or,

(ii) comprises a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase that is not expressed.

13. The method of Claim 12 wherein the at least one gene encoding a malonyl-CoA synthetase polypeptide has an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO:2, SEQ ID NO:4, SEQ ID NO:8, SEQ ID NO:9, SEQ ID NO:10, SEQ ID NO:11 , SEQ ID NO:12, SEQ ID NO:13, SEQ ID NO:14, SEQ ID NO:15, SEQ ID NO:16, SEQ ID NO:17, SEQ ID NO:18, SEQ ID NO:19, SEQ ID NO:20, SEQ ID NO:21 and SEQ ID NO:22.

14. The method of Claim 13 wherein the at least one gene encoding a malonyl-CoA synthetase is selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO:1 and SEQ ID NO:3.

15. The method of Claim 13, wherein the transgenic organism is selected from the group consisting of: Yarrowia, Candida, Rhodotorula, Rhodospoήdium, Cryptococcus, Tήchosporon and Lipomyces.

16. A transgenic Yarrowia sp. host cell comprising: d) at least one genetic mutation, wherein the mutation is a disruption in at least one native peroxisome biogenesis factor protein; and, e) at least one gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase under control of at least one regulatory sequence; and, f) genes encoding a functional polyunsaturated fatty acid biosynthetic pathway.

Description:
TITLE REDUCING BYPRODUCTION OF MALONATES IN A FERMENTATION

PROCESS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/138922, filed December 18, 2008, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention is in the field of biotechnology. More specifically, this invention pertains to methods useful for reducing the by-production of organic acids, and in particular malonates, during fermentation of an organism, based on expression of a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Fermentation is a process to produce one or more products from one or more substrates through use of a biocatalyst, wherein the biocatalyst can be a whole microorganism, an isolated enzyme, or any combination thereof.

In a batch fermentation, fermentation begins with a culturing process in which the medium is inoculated with the desired microbial organism. Growth or metabolic activity then occurs. The metabolite and biomass compositions of the system change constantly up to the time the culture is terminated. Typically, the growth rate of the microbial cells proceeds through a static lag phase, to a high-growth log phase (or exponential growth), and finally to a stationary phase, wherein growth is diminished or halted. Although production of the microbial product typically occurs during the high-growth log phase, this phase of growth cannot continue indefinitely because the medium becomes depleted of nutrients and enriched with products, if the product is secreted, and byproducts, as a result of the cultured organisms' growth. Byproducts may comprise among other things, polysaccharides, carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins, salts and various organic acids such as lactic acid, acetic acid, formic acid, proprionic acid, pyruvate, fumarate, citrate, isocitrate, glyocylate, succinate, α-ketoglutarate and malonates.

Fermentation is an important technology for biosynthesis of a variety of microbial products, including amino acids, ethanol, polyunsaturated fatty acids and antibiotics. The fermentative production and commercialization of a few chemicals have been reported (W. Crueger and A. Crueger, Biotechnology: A Textbook of Industrial Microbiology, Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA., pp 124-174 (1990); B. Atkinson and F. Mavituna, Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology Handbook, 2 nd ed.; Stockton: New York, pp 243-364 (1991 )). Biocatalytic processes, however, frequently suffer from several well-known limitations which may include: 1 ) a relatively small range of products; 2) low yields, titers and productivities; 3) difficulty recovering and purifying products from aqueous solutions; and, 4) generation of unwanted byproducts. Integrating upstream metabolic engineering (i.e., product synthesis) with downstream bioprocess engineering (i.e., product separation and process design) is critical to reap significant value from industrial fermentation because process limitations increase the cost of manufacture of the product of interest.

Although various biochemical, physiological and chemical/physical factors can affect the productivity of a biocatalytic process, important factors include the efficiency of the conversion of the substrate to product and the optimization of energy/carbon flow into the biochemical pathway that results in the product of interest. In consideration of these factors, a variety of metabolic engineering techniques have been developed to facilitate up- regulating desirable biochemical pathways and down-regulating undesirable biochemical pathways, such as those that compete with the biosynthetic pathway of interest or those that interfere with production of a particular end- product.

The present disclosure concerns the accumulation of malonates as byproducts during the fermentative synthesis of a product by an organism. Specifically, high productivity and minimal waste byproduct are achieved by engineering the organism to express a heterologous malonyl-CoA synthetase to enable the reaction: malonate + ATP + CoA -> malonyl-CoA + AMP + pyrophosphate ["PPi"]. Conversion of the byproduct malonate to malonyl- CoA permits synthesis of fatty acids within the organism, thereby avoiding accumulation of malonate "byproducts" that can not be further utilized during the fermentation. This thereby avoids carbon and energy waste within the organism, reduces the amount of base required to maintain an optimal pH range during the fermentation process, and reduces the amount of byproduct organic acids that require neutralization within the fermentation waste steam.

Heterologous malonyl CoA synthetases have been previously expressed in microbial organisms to enable enhanced production of various polyketides (U.S. Pat. 6,939,691 , U.S. Pat. App. Pub. No. 2003/0073205). As summarized in Lombό, F., et al. (Biotechnol. Prog., 17(4):612-7 (2001 )), the productivity of polyketide fermentation processes in natural and heterologous hosts is frequently limited by the in vivo availability of precursors derived from α-carboxylated CoA thioesters such as malonyl-CoA and (2S)-methylmalonyl- CoA. Expression of a malonyl-CoA synthetase can alleviate this limitation and significantly increase polyketide production. Previous disclosures do not contemplate expression of a heterologous malonyl CoA synthetase to reduce production of malonates and thereby avoid carbon and energy waste by the organism.

Applicants have solved the stated problem whereby malonate "byproducts" accumulate during the fermentation of an organism, leading to carbon and energy waste, reduced synthesis of the product of interest and production of waste streams that require neutralization (thereby increasing the overall cost of manufacture). Novel organisms expressing heterologous malonyl CoA synthetase proteins are described herein.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In a first embodiment, the invention concerns a transgenic organism useful in fermentation of at least one product, comprising at least one gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase under control of at least one regulatory sequence; wherein the transgenic organism produces a reduced amount of malonates as a fermentation byproduct compared with the amount of malonates produced by the same organism, whether transgenic or not transgenic, provided that the organism: a) does not comprise a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase; or, b) comprises a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase that is not expressed.

Preferably, the organism organism accumulates oil in an amount of at least about 25% of its dry cell weight. The organism can be selected from the group consisting of algae, fungi, euglenoids, yeast, bacteria and stramenopiles. More preferably, the organism is an oleaginous yeast selected from the group consisting of Yarrowia, Candida, Rhodotorula, Rhodosporidium, Cryptococcus, Trichosporon and Lipomyces.

In a second embodiment, the regularoty comprised by the transgenic organism of invention further comprises a strong promoter.

In a third embodiment, the transgenic organism of the invention comprising at least one gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase can be in multicopy.

In a fourth embodiment, the transgenic organism the invention comprises at least one sequence encoding a malonyl-CoA synthetase polypeptide having an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO:2, SEQ ID NO:4, SEQ ID NO:8, SEQ ID NO:9, SEQ ID NO:10, SEQ ID NO:11 , SEQ ID NO:12, SEQ ID NO:13, SEQ ID NO:14, SEQ ID NO:15, SEQ ID NO:16, SEQ ID NO:17, SEQ ID NO:18, SEQ ID NO:19, SEQ ID NO:20, SEQ ID NO:21 and SEQ ID NO:22.

In a fifth embodiment, the transgenic organism of the invention comprises at least one sequence encoding a malonyl-CoA synthetase wherein said sequence is selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO:1 and SEQ ID NO:3.

In a sixth embodiment, the transgenic organism of the invention produces a titer of the at least one product is not reduced relative to the titer of the at least one product produced by the same organism, whether transgenic or not transgenic, provided that the organism: a) does not comprise a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase; or, b) comprises a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase that is not expressed.

In a seventh embodiment, the transgenic organism of the invention further comprises at least one genetic mutation. This at least one genetic mutation can be a disruption in at least one native peroxisome biogenesis factor protein.

In an eighth embodiment, the invention comprises a method for manipulating the content of malonates in a transgenic organism, comprising: a) providing a transgenic organism useful in fermentation of at least one product where the transgenic organism comprises at least one gene encoding a malonyl-CoA synthetase under the control of suitable regulatory sequences; and, b) growing the organism to allow expression of the at least one gene encoding a malonyl-CoA synthetase, such that the transgenic organism makes a reduced amount of malonates as a fermentation byproduct compared with the amount of malonates made by the same organism, whether transgenic or not transgenic, provided that the organism:

(i) does not comprise a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase; or, (ii) comprises a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase that is not expressed.

Preferably, the at least one gene encoding a malonyl-CoA synthetase polypeptide has an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting Of SEQ ID NO:2, SEQ ID NO:4, SEQ ID NO:8, SEQ ID NO:9, SEQ ID NO:10, SEQ ID NO:11 , SEQ ID NO:12, SEQ ID NO:13, SEQ ID NO:14, SEQ ID NO:15, SEQ ID NO:16, SEQ ID NO:17, SEQ ID NO:18, SEQ ID NO:19, SEQ ID NO:20, SEQ ID NO:21 and SEQ ID NO:22. Furthermore, the at least one gene encoding a malonyl-CoA synthetase is selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO:1 and SEQ ID NO:3.

In a ninth embodiment, the transgenic Yarrowia sp. host cell comprises: a) at least one genetic mutation, wherein the mutation is a disruption in at least one native peroxisome biogenesis factor protein; and, b) at least one gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase under control of at least one regulatory sequence; and, c) genes encoding a functional polyunsaturated fatty acid biosynthetic pathway.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS AND SEQUENCE LISTINGS

FIG. 1 consists of FIG. 1A, FIG. 1 B, FIG. 1 C and FIG. 1 D, which together show a comparison of the DNA sequence of the Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae 3841 malonyl-CoA synthetase gene (Gen Bank Accession No. YP_766603; SEQ ID NO:1 ) and the synthetic gene (SEQ ID NO:3) codon-optimized for expression in Yarrowia lipolytica.

FIG. 2 provides a plasmid map for pZP2-MCS.

FIG. 3 consists of FIG. 3A and FIG. 3B, which together illustrate the ω- 3/ ω-6 fatty acid biosynthetic pathway, and should be viewed together when considering the description of this pathway.

FIG. 4 diagrams the development of Yarrowia lipolytica strain Y4305.

The invention can be more fully understood from the following detailed description and the accompanying sequence descriptions, which form a part of this application.

The following sequences comply with 37 C. F. R. §1.821 -1.825 ("Requirements for Patent Applications Containing Nucleotide Sequences and/or Amino Acid Sequence Disclosures - the Sequence Rules") and are consistent with World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standard ST.25 (1998) and the sequence listing requirements of the EPO and PCT (Rules 5.2 and 49.5(a-bis), and Section 208 and Annex C of the Administrative Instructions). The symbols and format used for nucleotide and amino acid sequence data comply with the rules set forth in 37 C. F. R. §1.822.

SEQ ID NOs:1-22 are ORFs encoding genes or proteins, or plasmids, as identified in Table 1.

Table 1 : Summary Of Nucleic Acid And Protein SEQ ID Numbers

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Described herein are generalized methods to avoid accumulation of malonate "byproducts" that cannot be further utilized during a fermentation, during production of a product. These methods rely on expression of a heterologous malonyl-CoA synthetase protein within the host. These methods have wide-spread applicability because they reduce byproduction of malonates by a variety of organisms, including algae, fungi, euglenoids, yeast, bacteria and stramenopiles, during the production of a variety of products via fermentation. These methods were performed in an oleaginous yeast, specifically, Yarrowia lipolytica, which had been previously genetically engineered to produce polyunsaturated fatty acids ["PUFAs"]. The genetic mutations relating to engineering production of PUFAs were found to result in increased byproduction of malonates during the fermentation (malonates accounted for -45% of the total organic acids accumulated). Expression of a heterologous malonyl-CoA synthetase reversed this effect and resulted in substantially reduced byproduction of malonates.

In this disclosure, the following abbreviations are used: .

"Open reading frame" is abbreviated as "ORF".

"Polymerase chain reaction" is abbreviated as "PCR".

"American Type Culture Collection" is abbreviated as "ATCC".

"Polyunsaturated fatty acid(s)" is abbreviated as "PUFA(s)". "Triacylglycerols" are abbreviated as "TAGs".

"Total fatty acids" are abbreviated as "TFAs".

"Fatty acid methyl esters" are abbreviated as "FAMEs".

"Dry cell weight" is abbreviated as "DCW".

"Co enzyme A" is abbreviated as "CoA".

As used herein, the term "invention" or "present invention" is not meant to be limiting but applies generally to any of the inventions defined in the claims or described herein.

The term "malonic acid", also referred to as propanedioic acid according to International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry ["IUPAC"] systematic nomenclature, refers to a dicarboxylic acid having the chemical structure set forth as CH 2 (COOH) 2 . The malonate or propanedioate ion is derived from malonic acid by loss of two hydrogen ions, (i.e., CH 2 (COO) 2 2" ). Salts and esters of malonic acid include, but are not limited to, diethyl malonate [(C 2 Hs) 2 (C 3 H 2 O 4 )], dimethyl malonate [(CHs) 2 (C 3 H 2 O 4 )] and disodium malonate [Na 2 (C 3 H 2 O 4 )].

As used herein, "malonates" refer to the ionised form of malonic acid, as well as its esters and salts. All of these are referred to herein collectively as "malonates".

As used herein, "malonyl-CoA" [CAS Registry No. 524-14-1] refers to an acyl thioester that can be formed by the carboxylation of acetyl-CoA to malonyl-CoA. Alternatively, malonyl-CoA is produced enzymatically from the substrate malonate, via a malonyl-CoA synthetase.

As used herein, "malonyl-CoA synthetase" [EC 6.2.1.-] catalyzes the following enzymatic reaction: malonate + ATP + CoA -> malonyl-CoA + AMP + pyrophosphate ["PPi"]. The enzyme was first purified from malonate-grown Pseudomonas fluorescens (Kim, Y.S. and S. K. Bang, J. Biol. Chem., 260:5098-5104 (1985)), although various Rhizobia homologs have since been isolated from bacteroids within legume nodules (see, for example, Kim, Y.S. and H.Z. Chae, Biochem. J., 273:511 -516 (1991 ) and Kim, Y.S. and S.W. Kang, Biochem. J., 297:327-333 (1994)). The term "rMCS" refers to a gene (SEQ ID NO:1 ) encoding a malonyl- CoA synthetase enzyme (SEQ ID NO:2) from Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae 3841 (GenBank Accession No. YP_766603). Similarly, the term "MCS" refers to a synthetic gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase derived from Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae 3841 that is codon-optimized for expression in Yarrowia lipolytica (i.e., SEQ ID NOs:3 and 4).

The term "Rhizobium" refers to a genus of Gram-negative soil bacteria (comprising over 30 different species) that fix nitrogen, i.e., diazotrophy. Rhizobium form an endosymbiotic nitrogen-fixing association with roots of legumes, such as peas, beans, clover and soy. The bacteria colonize plant cells within root nodules, convert atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia and then provide organic nitrogenous compounds such as glutamine or ureides to the plant. The plant provides the bacteria organic compounds made by photosynthesis. Based on recent studies, R. trifolii is a later synonym of R. leguminosarum (M. H. Ramfrez-Bahena et al., Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 58:2484-2490 (2008)).

"Fermentation" refers to a process that catalyzes a reaction(s) to produce product(s) from substrate(s) through use of a biocatalyst(s).

A "biocatalyst" initiates or modifies the rate of a chemical reaction between substrate(s) and product(s). The biocatalyst can be a whole microorganism, an isolated enzyme, or any combination thereof. For the purposes described herein, the biocatalyst will be a whole microorganism, such as an algae, fungus, euglenoid, yeast, bacteria or stramenopile.

A "fermenter" or "bioreactor" refers to a vessel capable of containing a fermentation process. The fermenter is a heterogeneous system having two or more phases, e.g., liquid, gas, solid. Optimal conditions for fermentation necessitate efficient transfer of mass, heat and momentum from one phase to the other. A fermenter provides for the following: 1 ) agitation (for mixing of cells and medium); 2) aeration, for O2 supply; 3) regulation of factors like temperature, pH, pressure, aeration, nutrient feeding, liquid level, etc.; 4) sterilization and maintenance of sterility; and, 5) withdrawal of cells/medium (for continuous fermenters). Generally, 20-25% of fermenter volume is left unfilled with medium as "head space" to allow for splashing, foaming and aeration. The fermenter design varies greatly depending on the type of fermentation for which it is used. Modem fermenters are usually integrated with computers for efficient process monitoring, data acquisition, etc.

The term "broth" or "medium" refers to a liquid solution containing nutrients for cultuhng microorganisms, generally comprising water, an energy source, a carbon source, a nitrogen source and micronutrients. During and/or at the end of fermentation, the broth may additionally contain the biocatalyst, product synthesized by the biocatalyst, metabolic intermediates, byproducts and other media components such as salts, vitamins, amino acids, cofactors and antibiotics.

"Product" refers to any biocatalytically-produced primary product of interest that results from the fermentation. This may be a compound naturally produced by the biocatalyst or non-native genes may be genetically engineered into the microorganism for their functional expression during the fermentation.

In contrast, the term "byproduct" refers to a secondary or incidental product derived from the conversion by the biocatalyst of substrate(s) to product(s). Often, it is desirable to selectively remove "byproducts" from the fermentation system to eliminate feedback inhibition and/or to maximize biocatalyst activity. Typical fermentation byproducts may include, for example: polysaccharides, carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins, salts and various organic acids such as lactic acid, acetic acid, formic acid, prophonic acid, pyruvate, fumarate, citrate, isocitrate, glyocylate, succinate, α- ketoglutarate and malonates.

"Volumetric productivity" refers to the mass of product produced in a fermenter in a given volume per time, with units of grams/(liter hour) (abbreviated g/(L hr)). This measure is determined by the specific activity of the biocatalyst and the concentration of the biocatalyst. It is calculated from the titer, run time, and the working volume of the fermenter. "Titer" refers to the concentration of product with units of grams/liter (abbreviated g/L).

The term "conserved domain" or "motif refers to a set of amino acids conserved at specific positions along an aligned sequence of evolutionahly related proteins. While amino acids at other positions can vary between homologous proteins, amino acids that are highly conserved at specific positions indicate amino acids that are essential in the structure, the stability, or the activity of a protein. Because they are identified by their high degree of conservation in aligned sequences of a family of protein homologues, they can be used as identifiers, or "signatures", to determine if a protein with a newly determined sequence belongs to a previously identified protein family.

The term "oleaginous" refers to those organisms that tend to store their energy source in the form of oil (Weete, In: Fungal Lipid Biochemistry, 2 nd Ed., Plenum, 1980). Generally, the cellular oil content of oleaginous microorganisms follows a sigmoid curve, wherein the concentration of lipid increases until it reaches a maximum at the late logarithmic or early stationary growth phase and then gradually decreases during the late stationary and death phases (Yongmanitchai and Ward, Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 57:419-25 (1991 )). It is common for oleaginous microorganisms to accumulate in excess of about 25% of their dry cell weight as oil.

The term "oleaginous yeast" refers to those microorganisms classified as yeasts that can make oil. Examples of oleaginous yeast include, but are no means limited to, the following genera: Yarrowia, Candida, Rhodotorula, Rhodosporidium, Cryptococcus, Trichosporon and Lipomyces.

The term '"lipids" refer to any fat-soluble (i.e., lipophilic), naturally- occurring molecule. Lipids are a diverse group of compounds that have many key biological functions, such as structural components of cell membranes, energy storage sources and intermediates in signaling pathways. Lipids may be broadly defined as hydrophobic or amphiphilic small molecules that originate entirely or in part from either ketoacyl or isoprene groups. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (Bethesda, MD) provides a general overview of lipids, based on the Lipid Metabolites and Pathways Strategy (LIPID MAPS) classification system.

The term "oil" refers to a lipid substance that is liquid at 25 0 C and usually polyunsaturated. In oleaginous organisms, oil constitutes a major part of the total lipid. "Oil" is composed primarily of triacylglycerols ["TAGs"] but may also contain other neutral lipids, phospholipids and free fatty acids. The fatty acid composition in the oil and the fatty acid composition of the total lipid are generally similar; thus, an increase or decrease in the concentration of PUFAs in the total lipid will correspond with an increase or decrease in the concentration of PUFAs in the oil, and vice versa.

The term "triacylglycerols" ["TAGs"] refers to neutral lipids composed of three fatty acyl residues estehfied to a glycerol molecule. TAGs can contain long chain PUFAs and saturated fatty acids, as well as shorter chain saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.

The term "fatty acids" refers to long chain aliphatic acids (alkanoic acids) of varying chain lengths, from about C 12 to C 22 , although both longer and shorter chain-length acids are known. The predominant chain lengths are between C 16 and C 22 . The structure of a fatty acid is represented by a simple notation system of "X:Y", where X is the total number of carbon ["C"] atoms in the particular fatty acid and Y is the number of double bonds. Additional details concerning the differentiation between "saturated fatty acids" versus "unsaturated fatty acids", "monounsaturated fatty acids" versus "polyunsaturated fatty acids" ["PUFAs"], and "omega-6 fatty acids" ["ω-6" or "n-6"] versus "omega-3 fatty acids" ["ω-3" or "n-3"] are provided in U.S. Pat. No. 7,238,482, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

Nomenclature used to describe PUFAs herein is given in Table 2. In the column titled "Shorthand Notation", the omega-reference system is used to indicate the number of carbons, the number of double bonds and the position of the double bond closest to the omega carbon, counting from the omega carbon, which is numbered 1 for this purpose. The remainder of the Table summarizes the common names of ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids and their precursors, the abbreviations that are used throughout the specification and the chemical name of each compound.

Although the ω-3/ ω-6 PUFAs listed in Table 2 are the most likely to be accumulated in the oil fractions of oleaginous yeast using the methods described herein, this list should not be construed as limiting or as complete. The term "PUFA biosynthetic pathway" refers to a metabolic process that converts oleic acid to ω-6 fatty acids such as LA, EDA, GLA, DGLA, ARA, DTA and DPAn-6 and ω-3 fatty acids such as ALA, STA, ETrA, ETA, EPA, DPA and DHA. This process is well described in the literature. See e.g., Int'l. App. Pub. No. WO 2006/052870. Briefly, this process involves elongation of the carbon chain through the addition of carbon atoms and desaturation of the elongated molecule through the addition of double bonds, via a series of special elongation and desaturation enzymes termed "PUFA biosynthetic pathway enzymes" that are present in the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. More specifically, "PUFA biosynthetic pathway enzymes" refer to any of the following enzymes (and genes which encode them) associated with the biosynthesis of a PUFA, including: Δ4 desaturase, Δ5 desaturase, Δ6 desaturase, Δ12 desaturase, Δ15 desaturase, Δ17 desaturase, Δ9 desaturase, Δ8 desaturase, Δ9 elongase, C14/16 elongase, C16/18 elongase, C18/20 elongase and/or C20/22 elongase.

The term "desaturase" refers to a polypeptide that can desaturate adjoining carbons in a fatty acid by removing a hydrogen from one of the adjoining carbons and thereby introducing a double bond between them. Desaturation produces a fatty acid or precursor of interest. Despite use of the omega-reference system throughout the specification to refer to specific fatty acids, it is more convenient to indicate the activity of a desaturase by counting from the carboxyl end of the substrate using the delta-system. Of particular interest herein are: Δ8 desaturases, Δ5 desaturases, Δ17 desaturases, Δ12 desaturases, Δ4 desaturases, Δ6 desaturases, Δ15 desaturases and Δ9 desaturases. In the art, Δ15 and Δ17 desaturases are also occasionally referred to as "omega-3 desaturases", "w-3 desaturases", and/or "ω-3 desaturases", based on their ability to convert ω-6 fatty acids into their ω-3 counterparts (e.g., conversion of LA into ALA and ARA into EPA, respectively). It may be desirable to empirically determine the specificity of a particular fatty acid desaturase by transforming a suitable host with the gene for the fatty acid desaturase and determining its effect on the fatty acid profile of the host. The term "elongase" refers to a polypeptide that can elongate a fatty acid carbon chain to produce an acid 2 carbons longer than the fatty acid substrate that the elongase acts upon. This process of elongation occurs in a multi-step mechanism in association with fatty acid synthase, as described in U.S. Pat. App. Pub. No. 2005/0132442 and Intl. App. Pub. No. WO 2005/047480. Examples of reactions catalyzed by elongase systems are the conversion of GLA to DGLA, STA to ETA and EPA to DPA. In general, the substrate selectivity of elongases is somewhat broad but segregated by both chain length and the degree and type of unsaturation. For example, a C 14/16 elongase will utilize a C 14 substrate e.g., myristic acid, a C 16/18 elongase will utilize a C 16 substrate e.g., palmitate, a C 18/20 elongase will utilize a C 18 substrate (e.g., GLA, STA, LA, ALA) and a C 20/22 elongase [also referred to as a Δ5 elongase] will utilize a C 20 substrate (e.g., ARA, EPA). For the purposes herein, two distinct types of C 18/20 elongases can be defined: a Δ6 elongase will catalyze conversion of GLA and STA to DGLA and ETA, respectively, while a Δ9 elongase is able to catalyze the conversion of LA and ALA to EDA and ETrA, respectively.

It is important to note that some elongases have broad specificity and thus a single enzyme may be capable of catalyzing several elongase reactions. For example a single enzyme may thus act as both a C 16/18 elongase and a C 18/20 elongase. It may be desirable to empirically determine the specificity of a fatty acid elongase by transforming a suitable host with the gene for the fatty acid elongase and determining its effect on the fatty acid profile of the host.

The terms "conversion efficiency" and "percent substrate conversion" refer to the efficiency by which a particular enzyme, such as a desaturase, can convert substrate to product. The conversion efficiency is measured according to the following formula: ([product]/[substrate + product]) * 100, where 'product' includes the immediate product and all products in the pathway derived from it.

The terms "peroxisome biogenesis factor protein", "peroxin" and "Pex protein" are interchangeable and refer to proteins involved in peroxisome biogenesis and/or that participate in the process of importing cellular proteins by means of ATP hydrolysis through the peroxisomal membrane. The acronym of a gene that encodes any of these proteins is "Pex gene". A system for nomenclature of Pex genes is described by Distel et al., J. Cell Biol., 135:1 -3 (1996). At least 32 different Pex genes have been identified so far in various eukaryotic organisms. Many Pex genes have been isolated from the analysis of mutants that demonstrated abnormal peroxisomal functions or structures. Based on a review by Kiel, J. A. K. W., et al. (Traffic, 7:1291 -1303 (2006)), wherein in silico analysis of the genomic sequences of 17 different fungal species was performed, the following Pex proteins were identified: Pexi p, Pex2p, Pex3p, Pex3Bp, Pex4p, Pexδp, PexδBp, PexδCp, Pex5/20p, Pex6p, Pex7p, Pexδp, Pexl Op, Pex12p, Pex13p, Pex14p, Pex15p, Pex16p, Pex17p, Pex14/17p, Pex18p, Pex19p, Pex20p, Pex21 p, Pex21 Bp, Pex22p, Pex22p-like and Pex26p. Thus, each of these proteins is referred to herein as a "Pex protein", a "peroxin" or a "peroxisome biogenesis factor protein", and is encoded by at least one "Pex gene".

The terms "polynucleotide", "polynucleotide sequence", "nucleic acid sequence", "nucleic acid fragment" and "isolated nucleic acid fragment" are used interchangeably herein. These terms encompass nucleotide sequences and the like. A polynucleotide may be a polymer of RNA or DNA that is single- or double-stranded, that optionally contains synthetic, non-natural or altered nucleotide bases. A polynucleotide in the form of a polymer of DNA may be comprised of one or more segments of cDNA, genomic DNA, synthetic DNA, or mixtures thereof. Nucleotides (usually found in their 5'-monophosphate form) are referred to by a single letter designation as follows: "A" for adenylate or deoxyadenylate (for RNA or DNA, respectively), "C" for cytidylate or deoxycytidylate, "G" for guanylate or deoxyguanylate, "U" for uridylate, "T" for deoxythymidylate, "R" for purines (A or G), "Y" for pyrimidines (C or T), "K" for G or T, "H" for A or C or T, "I" for inosine, and "N" for any nucleotide.

A nucleic acid fragment is "hybridizable" to another nucleic acid fragment, such as a cDNA, genomic DNA, or RNA molecule, when a single- stranded form of the nucleic acid fragment can anneal to the other nucleic acid fragment under the appropriate conditions of temperature and solution ionic strength. Hybridization and washing conditions are well known and exemplified in Sambrook, J., Fritsch, E. F. and Maniatis, T. Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, 2 nd ed., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: Cold Spring Harbor, NY (1989), which is hereby incorporated herein by reference, particularly Chapter 11 and Table 11.1. The conditions of temperature and ionic strength determine the "stringency" of the hybridization. Stringency conditions can be adjusted to screen for moderately similar fragments (such as homologous sequences from distantly related organisms), to highly similar fragments (such as genes that duplicate functional enzymes from closely related organisms). Post-hybridization washes determine stringency conditions. One set of preferred conditions uses a series of washes starting with 6X SSC, 0.5% SDS at room temperature for 15 min, then repeated with 2X SSC, 0.5% SDS at 45 0 C for 30 min, and then repeated twice with 0.2X SSC, 0.5% SDS at 50 0 C for 30 min. A more preferred set of stringent conditions uses higher temperatures in which the washes are identical to those above except for the temperature of the final two 30 min washes in 0.2X SSC, 0.5% SDS was increased to 60 0 C. Another preferred set of highly stringent conditions uses two final washes in 0.1 X SSC, 0.1 % SDS at 65 0 C. An additional set of stringent conditions include hybridization at 0.1 X SSC, 0.1 % SDS, 65 0 C and washes with 2X SSC, 0.1 % SDS followed by 0.1X SSC, 0.1 % SDS, for example.

Hybridization requires that the two nucleic acids contain complementary sequences, although depending on the stringency of the hybridization, mismatches between bases are possible. The appropriate stringency for hybridizing nucleic acids depends on the length of the nucleic acids and the degree of complementation, variables well known in the art. The greater the degree of similarity or homology between two nucleotide sequences, the greater the value of the thermal melting point ["T m " or "Tm"] for hybrids of nucleic acids having those sequences. The relative stability, corresponding to higher Tm, of nucleic acid hybridizations decreases in the following order: RNA:RNA, DNA:RNA, DNA:DNA. For hybrids of greater than 100 nucleotides in length, equations for calculating Tm have been derived (see Sambrook et al., supra, 9.50-9.51 ). For hybridizations with shorter nucleic acids, i.e., oligonucleotides, the position of mismatches becomes more important, and the length of the oligonucleotide determines its specificity (see Sambrook et al., supra, 11.7-11.8). In one embodiment the length for a hybridizable nucleic acid is at least about 10 nucleotides. Preferably a minimum length for a hybridizable nucleic acid is at least about 15 nucleotides; more preferably at least about 20 nucleotides; and most preferably the length is at least about 30 nucleotides. Furthermore, the skilled artisan will recognize that the temperature and wash solution salt concentration may be adjusted as necessary according to factors such as length of the probe.

A "substantial portion" of an amino acid or nucleotide sequence is that portion comprising enough of the amino acid sequence of a polypeptide or the nucleotide sequence of a gene to putatively identify that polypeptide or gene, either by manual evaluation of the sequence by one skilled in the art, or by computer-automated sequence comparison and identification using algorithms such as the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool ["BLAST"] (Altschul, S. F., et al., J. MoI. Biol., 215:403-410 (1993)). In general, a sequence of ten or more contiguous amino acids or thirty or more nucleotides is necessary in order to putatively identify a polypeptide or nucleic acid sequence as homologous to a known protein or gene. Moreover, with respect to nucleotide sequences, gene specific oligonucleotide probes comprising 20-30 contiguous nucleotides may be used in sequence- dependent methods of gene identification (e.g., Southern hybridization) and isolation, such as, in situ hybridization of microbial colonies or bacteriophage plaques. In addition, short oligonucleotides of 12-15 bases may be used as amplification primers in PCR in order to obtain a particular nucleic acid fragment comprising the primers. Accordingly, a "substantial portion" of a nucleotide sequence comprises enough of the sequence to specifically identify and/or isolate a nucleic acid fragment comprising the sequence. The skilled artisan, having the benefit of the sequences as reported herein, may now use all or a substantial portion of the disclosed sequences for purposes known to those skilled in this art, based on the methodologies described herein.

The term "complementary" is used to describe the relationship between nucleotide bases that are capable of hybridizing to one another. For example, with respect to DNA, adenosine is complementary to thymine and cytosine is complementary to guanine.

The terms "homology" and "homologous" are used interchangeably. They refer to nucleic acid fragments wherein changes in one or more nucleotide bases do not affect the ability of the nucleic acid fragment to mediate gene expression or produce a certain phenotype. These terms also refer to modifications of the nucleic acid fragments such as deletion or insertion of one or more nucleotides that do not substantially alter the functional properties of the resulting nucleic acid fragment relative to the initial, unmodified fragment.

Moreover, the skilled artisan recognizes that homologous nucleic acid sequences are also defined by their ability to hybridize, under moderately stringent conditions, such as 0.5 X SSC, 0.1 % SDS, 60 0 C, with the sequences exemplified herein, or to any portion of the nucleotide sequences disclosed herein and which are functionally equivalent thereto. Stringency conditions can be adjusted to screen for moderately similar fragments.

The term "selectively hybridizes" includes reference to hybridization, under stringent hybridization conditions, of a nucleic acid sequence to a specified nucleic acid target sequence to a detectably greater degree (e.g., at least 2-fold over background) than its hybridization to non-target nucleic acid sequences and to the substantial exclusion of non-target nucleic acids. Selectively hybridizing sequences typically have at least about 80% sequence identity, or 90% sequence identity, up to and including 100% sequence identity (i.e., fully complementary) with each other.

The term "stringent conditions" or "stringent hybridization conditions" includes reference to conditions under which a probe will selectively hybridize to its target sequence. Stringent conditions are sequence-dependent and will be different in different circumstances. By controlling the stringency of the hybridization and/or washing conditions, target sequences can be identified which are 100% complementary to the probe (homologous probing). Alternatively, stringency conditions can be adjusted to allow some mismatching in sequences so that lower degrees of similarity are detected (heterologous probing). Generally, a probe is less than about 1000 nucleotides in length, optionally less than 500 nucleotides in length.

Typically, stringent conditions will be those in which the salt concentration is less than about 1.5 M Na ion, typically about 0.01 to 1.0 M Na ion concentration (or other salts) at pH 7.0 to 8.3 and the temperature is at least about 30 0 C for short probes (e.g., 10 to 50 nucleotides) and at least about 60 0 C for long probes (e.g., greater than 50 nucleotides). Stringent conditions may also be achieved with the addition of destabilizing agents such as formamide. Exemplary low stringency conditions include hybridization with a buffer solution of 30 to 35% formamide, 1 M NaCI, 1 % SDS (sodium dodecyl sulphate) at 37 0 C, and a wash in 1 X to 2X SSC (2OX SSC = 3.0 M NaCI/0.3 M trisodium citrate) at 50 to 55 0 C. Exemplary moderate stringency conditions include hybridization in 40 to 45% formamide, 1 M NaCI, 1 % SDS at 37 0 C, and a wash in 0.5X to 1X SSC at 55 to 60 0 C. Exemplary high stringency conditions include hybridization in 50% formamide, 1 M NaCI, 1 % SDS at 37 0 C, and a wash in 0.1 X SSC at 60 to 65 0 C. An additional set of stringent conditions include hybridization at 0.1X SSC, 0.1 % SDS, 65 0 C and washed with 2X SSC, 0.1 % SDS followed by 0.1X SSC, 0.1 % SDS, for example.

Specificity is typically the function of post-hybridization washes, the important factors being the ionic strength and temperature of the final wash solution. For DNA-DNA hybrids, the thermal melting point ["T m "] can be approximated from the equation of Meinkoth et al., Anal. Biochem., 138:267- 284 (1984): T m = 81.5 0 C + 16.6 (log M) + 0.41 (%GC) - 0.61 (% form) - 500/L; where M is the molarity of monovalent cations, %GC is the percentage of guanosine and cytosine nucleotides in the DNA, % form is the percentage of formamide in the hybridization solution, and L is the length of the hybrid in base pairs. The T m is the temperature (under defined ionic strength and pH) at which 50% of a complementary target sequence hybridizes to a perfectly matched probe. T m is reduced by about 1 0 C for each 1 % of mismatching; thus, T m , hybridization and/or wash conditions can be adjusted to hybridize to sequences of the desired identity. For example, if sequences with >90% identity are sought, the T m can be decreased 10 0 C. Generally, stringent conditions are selected to be about 5 0 C lower than the T m for the specific sequence and its complement at a defined ionic strength and pH. However, severely stringent conditions can utilize a hybridization and/or wash at 1 , 2, 3, or 4 0 C lower than the T m ; moderately stringent conditions can utilize a hybridization and/or wash at 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 0 C lower than the T m ; and, low stringency conditions can utilize a hybridization and/or wash at 11 , 12, 13, 14, 15, or 20 0 C lower than the T m . Using the equation, hybridization and wash compositions, and desired T m , those of ordinary skill will understand that variations in the stringency of hybridization and/or wash solutions are inherently described. If the desired degree of mismatching results in a T m of less than 45 0 C (aqueous solution) or 32 0 C (formamide solution), it is preferred to increase the SSC concentration so that a higher temperature can be used. An extensive guide to the hybridization of nucleic acids is found in Tijssen, Laboratory Techniques in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology- Hybridization with Nucleic Acid Probes, Part I, Chapter 2 Overview of principles of hybridization and the strategy of nucleic acid probe assays", Elsevier, New York (1993); and Current Protocols in Molecular Biology, Chapter 2, Ausubel et al., Eds., Greene Publishing and Wiley-lnterscience, New York (1995). Hybridization and/or wash conditions can be applied for at least 10, 30, 60, 90, 120 or 240 minutes.

The term "percent identity" refers to a relationship between two or more polypeptide sequences or two or more polynucleotide sequences, as determined by comparing the sequences. "Percent identity" also means the degree of sequence relatedness between polypeptide or polynucleotide sequences, as the case may be, as determined by the percentage of match between compared sequences. "Percent identity" and "percent similarity" can be readily calculated by known methods, including but not limited to those described in: 1 ) Computational Molecular Biology (Lesk, A. M., Ed.) Oxford University: NY (1988); 2) Biocomputing: Informatics and Genome Projects (Smith, D. W., Ed.) Academic: NY (1993); 3) Computer Analysis of Sequence Data, Part I (Griffin, A. M., and Griffin, H. G., Eds.) Humania: NJ (1994); 4) Sequence Analysis in Molecular Biology (von Heinje, G., Ed.) Academic (1987); and, 5) Sequence Analysis Primer (Gribskov, M. and Devereux, J., Eds.) Stockton: NY (1991 ).

Preferred methods to determine percent identity are designed to give the best match between the sequences tested. Methods to determine percent identity and percent similarity are codified in publicly available computer programs. Sequence alignments and percent identity calculations may be performed using the MegAlign™ program of the LASERGENE bioinformatics computing suite (DNASTAR Inc., Madison, Wl). Multiple alignment of the sequences is performed using the "Clustal method of alignment" which encompasses several varieties of the algorithm including the "Clustal V method of alignment" and the "Clustal W method of alignment" (described by Higgins and Sharp, CABIOS, 5:151 -153 (1989); Higgins, D. G. et al., Comput. Appl. Biosci., 8:189-191 (1992)) and found in the MegAlign™ (version 8.0.2) program of the LASERGENE bioinformatics computing suite (DNASTAR Inc.). After alignment of the sequences using either Clustal program, it is possible to obtain a "percent identity" by viewing the "sequence distances" table in the program.

For multiple alignments using the Clustal V method of alignment, the default values correspond to GAP PENALTY=I O and GAP LENGTH PENALTY=I O. Default parameters for pairwise alignments and calculation of percent identity of protein sequences using the Clustal V method are KTUPLE=I , GAP PENALTY=3, WINDOW=5 and DIAGONALS SAVED=5. For nucleic acids these parameters are KTUPLE=2, GAP PENALTY=5, WINDOW=4 and DIAGONALS SAVED=4. Default parameters for multiple alignment using the Clustal W method of alignment correspond to GAP PENALTY=I O, GAP LENGTH PENALTY=0.2, Delay Divergent Seqs(%)=30, DNA Transition Weight=0.5, Protein Weight Matrix=Gonnet Series, DNA Weight Matrix=IUB.

The "BLASTN method of alignment" is an algorithm provided by the National Center for Biotechnology Information ["NCBI"] to compare nucleotide sequences using default parameters, while the "BLASTP method of alignment" is an algorithm provided by the NCBI to compare protein sequences using default parameters.

It is well understood by one skilled in the art that many levels of sequence identity are useful in identifying polypeptides, from other species, wherein such polypeptides have the same or similar function or activity. Suitable nucleic acid fragments, i.e., isolated polynucleotides encoding polypeptides in the methods and host cells described herein, encode polypeptides that are at least about 70-85% identical, while more preferred nucleic acid fragments encode amino acid sequences that are at least about 85-95% identical to the amino acid sequences reported herein. Although preferred ranges are described above, useful examples of percent identities include any integer percentage from 50% to 100%, such as 51 %, 52%, 53%, 54%, 55%, 56%, 57%, 58%, 59%, 60%, 61 %, 62%, 63%, 64%, 65%, 66%, 67%, 68%, 69%, 70%, 71 %, 72%, 73%, 74%, 75%, 76%, 77%, 78%, 79%, 80%, 81 %, 82%, 83%, 84%, 85%, 86%, 87%, 88%, 89%, 90%, 91 %, 92%, 93%, 94%, 95%, 96%, 97%, 98% or 99%. Also, of interest is any full-length or partial complement of this isolated nucleotide fragment.

Suitable nucleic acid fragments not only have the above homologies but typically encode a polypeptide having at least 50 amino acids, preferably at least 100 amino acids, more preferably at least 150 amino acids, still more preferably at least 200 amino acids, and most preferably at least 250 amino acids.

The term "codon degeneracy" refers to the nature in the genetic code permitting variation of the nucleotide sequence without affecting the amino acid sequence of an encoded polypeptide. The skilled artisan is well aware of the "codon-bias" exhibited by a specific host cell in usage of nucleotide codons to specify a given amino acid. Therefore, when synthesizing a gene for improved expression in a host cell, it is desirable to design the gene such that its frequency of codon usage approaches the frequency of preferred codon usage of the host cell.

"Synthetic genes" can be assembled from oligonucleotide building blocks that are chemically synthesized using procedures known to those skilled in the art. These oligonucleotide building blocks are annealed and then ligated to form gene segments that are then enzymatically assembled to construct the entire gene. Accordingly, the genes can be tailored for optimal gene expression based on optimization of nucleotide sequence to reflect the codon bias of the host cell. The skilled artisan appreciates the likelihood of successful gene expression if codon usage is biased towards those codons favored by the host. Determination of preferred codons can be based on a survey of genes derived from the host cell, where sequence information is available. For example, the codon usage profile for Yarrowia lipolytica is provided in U.S. Pat. 7,125,672.

"Gene" refers to a nucleic acid fragment that expresses a specific protein, and which may refer to the coding region alone or may include regulatory sequences preceding (5' non-coding sequences) and following (3' non-coding sequences) the coding sequence. "Native gene" refers to a gene as found in nature with its own regulatory sequences. "Chimeric gene" refers to any gene that is not a native gene, comprising regulatory and coding sequences that are not found together in nature. Accordingly, a chimeric gene may comprise regulatory sequences and coding sequences that are derived from different sources, or regulatory sequences and coding sequences derived from the same source, but arranged in a manner different than that found in nature. "Endogenous gene" refers to a native gene in its natural location in the genome of an organism. A "foreign" gene refers to a gene that is introduced into the host organism by gene transfer. Foreign genes can comprise native genes inserted into a non-native organism, native genes introduced into a new location within the native host, or chimeric genes. A "transgene" is a gene that has been introduced into the genome by a transformation procedure. A "codon-optimized gene" is a gene having its frequency of codon usage designed to mimic the frequency of preferred codon usage of the host cell.

"Coding sequence" refers to a DNA sequence which codes for a specific amino acid sequence. "Suitable regulatory sequences" refer to nucleotide sequences located upstream (5' non-coding sequences), within, or downstream (3' non-coding sequences) of a coding sequence, and which influence the transcription, RNA processing or stability, or translation of the associated coding sequence. Regulatory sequences may include promoters, enhancers, silencers, 5' untranslated leader sequence (e.g., between the transcription start site and the translation initiation codon), introns, polyadenylation recognition sequences, RNA processing sites, effector binding sites and stem-loop structures.

"Promoter" refers to a DNA sequence capable of controlling the expression of a coding sequence or functional RNA. In general, a coding sequence is located 3' to a promoter sequence. Promoters may be derived in their entirety from a native gene, or be composed of different elements derived from different promoters found in nature, or even comprise synthetic DNA segments. It is understood by those skilled in the art that different promoters may direct the expression of a gene in different tissues or cell types, or at different stages of development, or in response to different environmental or physiological conditions. Promoters that cause a gene to be expressed in most cell types at most times are commonly referred to as "constitutive promoters". It is further recognized that since in most cases the exact boundaries of regulatory sequences have not been completely defined, DNA fragments of different lengths may have identical promoter activity.

The terms "3' non-coding sequences" and "transcription terminator" refer to DNA sequences located downstream of a coding sequence. This includes polyadenylation recognition sequences and other sequences encoding regulatory signals capable of affecting mRNA processing or gene expression. The polyadenylation signal is usually characterized by affecting the addition of polyadenylic acid tracts to the 3' end of the mRNA precursor. The 3' region can influence the transcription, RNA processing or stability, or translation of the associated coding sequence.

"RNA transcript" refers to the product resulting from RNA polymerase- catalyzed transcription of a DNA sequence. When the RNA transcript is a perfect complementary copy of the DNA sequence, it is referred to as the primary transcript or it may be a RNA sequence derived from post- transcriptional processing of the primary transcript and is referred to as the mature RNA. "Messenger RNA" or "mRNA" refers to the RNA that is without introns and which can be translated into protein by the cell. "cDNA" refers to a double-stranded DNA that is complementary to, and derived from, mRNA. "Sense" RNA refers to RNA transcript that includes the mRNA and so can be translated into protein by the cell. "Antisense RNA" refers to a RNA transcript that is complementary to all or part of a target primary transcript or mRNA and that blocks the expression of a target gene (U.S. Pat. No. 5,107,065; Int'l. App. Pub. No. WO 99/28508). The term "operably linked" refers to the association of nucleic acid sequences on a single nucleic acid fragment so that the function of one is affected by the other. For example, a promoter is operably linked with a coding sequence when it is capable of affecting the expression of that coding sequence. That is, the coding sequence is under the transcriptional control of the promoter. Coding sequences can be operably linked to regulatory sequences in sense or antisense orientation.

The term "recombinant" refers to an artificial combination of two otherwise separated segments of sequence, e.g., by chemical synthesis or by the manipulation of isolated segments of nucleic acids by genetic engineering techniques.

The term "expression", as used herein, refers to the transcription and stable accumulation of sense (mRNA) or antisense RNA derived from nucleic acid fragments. Expression may also refer to translation of mRNA into a polypeptide. Thus, the term "expression", as used herein, also refers to the production of a functional end-product (e.g., an mRNA or a protein [either precursor or mature]).

"Transformation" refers to the transfer of a nucleic acid molecule into a host organism, resulting in genetically stable inheritance. The nucleic acid molecule may be a plasmid that replicates autonomously, for example, or, it may integrate into the genome of the host organism. Host organisms containing the transformed nucleic acid fragments are referred to as "transgenic", "recombinant", "transformed" or "transformant" organisms.

The terms "plasmid" and "vector" refer to an extra chromosomal element often carrying genes that are not part of the central metabolism of the cell, and usually in the form of circular double-stranded DNA fragments. Such elements may be autonomously replicating sequences, genome integrating sequences, phage or nucleotide sequences, linear or circular, of a single- or double-stranded DNA or RNA, derived from any source, in which a number of nucleotide sequences have been joined or recombined into a unique construction that is capable of introducing an expression cassette(s) into a cell.

The term "expression cassette" refers to a fragment of DNA containing a foreign gene and having elements in addition to the foreign gene that allow for enhanced expression of that gene in a foreign host. Generally, an expression cassette will comprise the coding sequence of a selected gene and regulatory sequences preceding (5' non-coding sequences) and following (3' non-coding sequences) the coding sequence that are required for expression of the selected gene product. Thus, an expression cassette is typically composed of: 1 ) a promoter sequence; 2) a coding sequence, i.e., open reading frame [ORF"]; and, 3) a 3' untranslated region, i.e., a terminator that in eukaryotes usually contains a polyadenylation site. The expression cassette(s) is usually included within a vector, to facilitate cloning and transformation. Different expression cassettes can be transformed into different organisms including bacteria, yeast, plants and mammalian cells, as long as the correct regulatory sequences are used for each host.

The terms "recombinant construct", "expression construct" and "construct" are used interchangeably herein. A recombinant construct comprises an artificial combination of nucleic acid fragments, e.g., regulatory and coding sequences that are not found together in nature. For example, a recombinant construct may comprise regulatory sequences and coding sequences that are derived from different sources, or regulatory sequences and coding sequences derived from the same source, but arranged in a manner different than that found in nature. Such a construct may be used by itself or may be used in conjunction with a vector. If a vector is used, then the choice of vector is dependent upon the method that will be used to transform host cells as is well known to those skilled in the art. For example, a plasmid vector can be used. The skilled artisan is well aware of the genetic elements that must be present on the vector in order to successfully transform, select and propagate host cells comprising any of the isolated nucleic acid fragments described herein. The skilled artisan will also recognize that different independent transformation events will result in different levels and patterns of expression (Jones et al., EMBO J., 4:2411 -2418 (1985); De Almeida et al., MoI. Gen. Genetics, 218:78-86 (1989)), and thus that multiple events must be screened in order to obtain lines displaying the desired expression level and pattern.

The term "sequence analysis software" refers to any computer algorithm or software program that is useful for the analysis of nucleotide or amino acid sequences. "Sequence analysis software" may be commercially available or independently developed. Typical sequence analysis software include, but is not limited to: 1 ) the GCG suite of programs (Wisconsin Package Version 9.0, Genetics Computer Group (GCG), Madison, Wl); 2) BLASTP, BLASTN, BLASTX (Altschul et al., J. MoI. Biol., 215:403-410 (1990)); 3) DNASTAR (DNASTAR, Inc. Madison, Wl); 4) Sequencher (Gene Codes Corporation, Ann Arbor, Ml); and, 5) the FASTA program incorporating the Smith-Waterman algorithm (W. R. Pearson, Comput. Methods Genome Res., [Proc. Int. Symp.] (1994), Meeting Date 1992, 111 -20. Editor(s): Suhai, Sandor. Plenum: New York, NY). Within this description, whenever sequence analysis software is used for analysis, the analytical results are based on the "default values" of the program referenced, unless otherwise specified. As used herein "default values" means any set of values or parameters that originally load with the software when first initialized.

Standard recombinant DNA and molecular cloning techniques used herein are well known in the art and are described by Sambrook, J., Fritsch, E. F. and Maniatis, T., Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, 2 nd ed., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: Cold Spring Harbor, NY (1989) (hereinafter "Maniatis"); by Silhavy, T. J., Bennan, M. L. and Enquist, L. W., Experiments with Gene Fusions, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: Cold Spring Harbor, NY (1984); and by Ausubel, F. M. et al., Current Protocols in Molecular Biology, published by Greene Publishing Assoc, and Wiley-lnterscience, Hoboken, NJ (1987). Genes encoding malonyl-CoA synthetases are found in a variety of organisms, such as Rhizobium, Bradyrhizobium, Mesorhizobium, Azorhizobium, Sinorhizobium, Nitrobacter, Pseudomonas, Rhodopseudomonas, Oligotropha, Methylobacteήum and Xanthobacter. See, for example, those provided in Example 1 , Table 3, corresponding to SEQ ID NOs:8-22. The primary role of malonyl-CoA synthetase is the conversion of the substrates malonate and CoA to yield malonyl-CoA, which can then be used to produce fatty acids.

A number of studies have been performed to characterize malonyl- CoA synthetases. For example, the active sites and substrate bindings of the Rhizobium trifolii malonyl-CoA synthetase, determined from NMR spectroscopy, site-directed mutagenesis, and comparative modeling methods, reveal details concerning the structure of the folded protein and provide support that histidine residue number 206 (His206) therein was important to enzyme functionality, based on its role in generating the reaction intermediate malonyl-AMP (Jung, J.W., et al., Protein Sci., 9:1294-1303 (2000)). The enzyme possesses several AMP binding motifs, as highlighted in FIG. 3A of Jung et al. Similar analysis concerning the malonyl-CoA synthetase of Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA 110 was performed by Koo, H. M. and Y.S. Kim {Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 378(1 ): 167-74 (2000)).

The malonyl-CoA synthetase sequences in Table 3, or portions of them, may be used to search for malonyl-CoA synthetase homologs in the same or other species using sequence analysis software. In general, such computer software matches similar sequences by assigning degrees of homology to various substitutions, deletions, and other modifications. Use of software algorithms, such as the BLASTP method of alignment with a low complexity filter and the following parameters: Expect value = 10, matrix = Blosum 62 (Altschul, et al., Nucleic Acids Res., 25:3389-3402 (1997)), is well- known for comparing any malonyl-CoA synthetase protein in Table 3 against a database of nucleic or protein sequences and thereby identifying similar known sequences within a preferred organism. Use of a software algorithm to comb through databases of known sequences is particularly suitable for the isolation of homologs having a relatively low percent identity to publicly available malonyl-CoA synthetase sequences, such as those described in Table 3. It is predictable that isolation would be relatively easier for malonyl-CoA synthetase homologs of at least about 70%-85% identity to publicly available malonyl-CoA synthetase sequences. Further, those sequences that are at least about 85%-90% identical would be particularly suitable for isolation and those sequences that are at least about 90%-95% identical would be the most easily isolated.

Some malonyl-CoA synthetase homologs have also been isolated by the use of motifs unique to malonyl-CoA synthetase enzymes. For example, it is well known that malonyl-CoA synthetases all possess AMP binding motifs. This region of "conserved domain" corresponds to a set of amino acids that are highly conserved at specific positions, which likely represents a region of the malonyl-CoA synthetase protein that is essential to the structure, stability or activity of the protein. Motifs are identified by their high degree of conservation in aligned sequences of a family of protein homologues. As unique "signatures", they can determine if a protein with a newly determined sequence belongs to a previously identified protein family. These motifs are useful as diagnostic tools for the rapid identification of novel malonyl-CoA synthetase genes.

Alternatively, the publicly available malonyl-CoA synthetase sequences or their motifs may be hybridization reagents for the identification of homologs. The basic components of a nucleic acid hybridization test include a probe, a sample suspected of containing the gene or gene fragment of interest, and a specific hybridization method. Probes are typically single- stranded nucleic acid sequences that are complementary to the nucleic acid sequences to be detected. Probes are hybhdizable to the nucleic acid sequence to be detected. Although probe length can vary from 5 bases to tens of thousands of bases, typically a probe length of about 15 bases to about 30 bases is suitable. Only part of the probe molecule need be complementary to the nucleic acid sequence to be detected. In addition, the complementarity between the probe and the target sequence need not be perfect. Hybridization does occur between imperfectly complementary molecules with the result that a certain fraction of the bases in the hybridized region are not paired with the proper complementary base.

Hybridization methods are well known. Typically the probe and the sample must be mixed under conditions that permit nucleic acid hybridization. This involves contacting the probe and sample in the presence of an inorganic or organic salt under the proper concentration and temperature conditions. The probe and sample nucleic acids must be in contact for a long enough time that any possible hybridization between the probe and the sample nucleic acid occurs. The concentration of probe or target in the mixture determine the time necessary for hybridization to occur. The higher the concentration of the probe or target, the shorter the hybridization incubation time needed. Optionally, a chaotropic agent may be added, such as guanidinium chloride, guanidinium thiocyanate, sodium thiocyanate, lithium tetrachloroacetate, sodium perchlorate, rubidium tetrachloroacetate, potassium iodide or cesium trifluoroacetate. If desired, one can add formamide to the hybridization mixture, typically 30-50% (v/v) ["by volume"].

Various hybridization solutions can be employed. Typically, these comprise from about 20 to 60% volume, preferably 30%, of a polar organic solvent. A common hybridization solution employs about 30-50% v/v formamide, about 0.15 to 1 M sodium chloride, about 0.05 to 0.1 M buffers (e.g., sodium citrate, Tris-HCI, PIPES or HEPES (pH range about 6-9)), about 0.05 to 0.2% detergent (e.g., sodium dodecylsulfate), or between 0.5-20 mM EDTA, FICOLL (Pharmacia Inc.) (about 300-500 kdal), polyvinylpyrrolidone (about 250-500 kdal), and serum albumin. Also included in the typical hybridization solution are unlabeled carrier nucleic acids from about 0.1 to 5 mg/mL, fragmented nucleic DNA such as calf thymus or salmon sperm DNA or yeast RNA, and optionally from about 0.5 to 2% wt/vol ["weight by volume"] glycine. Other additives may be included, such as volume exclusion agents that include polar water-soluble or swellable agents (e.g., polyethylene glycol), anionic polymers (e.g., polyacrylate or polymethylacrylate) and anionic saccharidic polymers, such as dextran sulfate.

Nucleic acid hybridization is adaptable to a variety of assay formats. One of the most suitable is the sandwich assay format. The sandwich assay is particularly adaptable to hybridization under non-denaturing conditions. A primary component of a sandwich-type assay is a solid support. The solid support has adsorbed or covalently coupled to it immobilized nucleic acid probe that is unlabeled and complementary to one portion of the sequence.

Any of the malonyl-CoA synthetase nucleic acid fragments described herein or in public literature, or any identified homologs, may be used to isolate genes encoding homologous proteins from the same or other species. Isolation of homologous genes using sequence-dependent protocols is well known in the art. Examples of sequence-dependent protocols include, but are not limited to: 1 ) methods of nucleic acid hybridization; 2) methods of DNA and RNA amplification, as exemplified by various uses of nucleic acid amplification technologies, such as polymerase chain reaction ["PCR"] (U.S. Pat. No.4,683,202); ligase chain reaction ["LCR"] (Tabor, S. et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 82:1074 (1985)); or strand displacement amplification [ 11 SDA"] (Walker, et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 89:392 (1992)); and, 3) methods of library construction and screening by complementation.

For example, genes encoding proteins or polypeptides similar to publicly available malonyl-CoA synthetase genes or their motifs could be isolated directly by using all or a portion of those publicly available nucleic acid fragments as DNA hybridization probes to screen libraries from any desired organism using well known methods. Specific oligonucleotide probes based upon the publicly available nucleic acid sequences can be designed and synthesized by methods known in the art (Maniatis, supra). Moreover, the entire sequences can be used directly to synthesize DNA probes by methods known to the skilled artisan, such as random primers DNA labeling, nick translation or end-labeling techniques, or RNA probes using available in vitro transcription systems. In addition, specific primers can be designed and used to amplify a part or the full length of the publicly available sequences or their motifs. The resulting amplification products can be labeled directly during amplification reactions or labeled after amplification reactions, and used as probes to isolate full-length DNA fragments under conditions of appropriate stringency.

Typically, in PCR-type amplification techniques, the primers have different sequences and are not complementary to each other. Depending on the desired test conditions, the sequences of the primers should be designed to provide for both efficient and faithful replication of the target nucleic acid. Methods of PCR primer design are common and well known (Thein and Wallace, "The use of oligonucleotides as specific hybridization probes in the Diagnosis of Genetic Disorders", in Human Genetic Diseases: A Practical Approach, K. E. Davis Ed., (1986) pp 33-50, IRL: Herndon, VA; Rychlik, W., In Methods in Molecular Biology. White, B. A. Ed., (1993) Vol. 15, pp 31 -39, PCR Protocols: Current Methods and Applications. Humania: Totowa, NJ).

Generally two short segments of available malonyl-CoA synthetase sequences may be used in PCR protocols to amplify longer nucleic acid fragments encoding homologous genes from DNA or RNA. PCR may also be performed on a library of cloned nucleic acid fragments wherein the sequence of one primer is derived from the available nucleic acid fragments or their motifs. The sequence of the other primer takes advantage of the presence of the polyadenylic acid tracts to the 3' end of the mRNA precursor encoding genes.

The second primer sequence may also be based upon sequences derived from the cloning vector. For example, the skilled artisan can follow the RACE protocol (Frohman et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 85:8998 (1988)) to generate cDNAs by using PCR to amplify copies of the region between a single point in the transcript and the 3' or 5' end. Primers oriented in the 3' and 5' directions can be designed from the available sequences. Using commercially available 3' RACE or 5' RACE systems (e.g., BRL, Gaithersburg, MD), specific 3' or 5' cDNA fragments can be isolated (Ohara et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 86:5673 (1989); Loh et al., Science, 243:217 (1989)).

Based on any of the well-known methods just discussed, it would be possible to identify and/or isolate malonyl-CoA synthetase gene homologs in any preferred organism of choice. The activity of any putative malonyl-CoA synthetase gene can readily be confirmed by standard biochemical assays (e.g., see Kim, Y.S. and S. K. Bang. Anal Biochem., 170(1 ):45-9 (1988)).

Acetyl-CoA is the principle building block for de novo biosynthesis of fatty acids. Although any compound that can effectively be metabolized to produce acetyl-CoA can serve as a precursor of fatty acids, glucose is often the primary source of carbon. Via glycolysis, glucose is converted to pyruvate, which is transported into the mitochondria to be converted by pyruvate dehydrogenase to acetyl-CoA. Since acetyl-CoA cannot be transported directly across the mitochondrial membrane into the cytoplasm, the two carbons from acetyl-CoA condense with oxaloacetate to yield citrate (catalyzed by citrate synthase). Citrate is transported directly into the cytoplasm, where it is cleaved by ATP-citrate lyase to regenerate acetyl-CoA and oxaloacetate. The oxaloacetate reenters the tricarboxylic acid cycle via conversion to malate.

The synthesis of malonyl-CoA is the first committed step of fatty acid biosynthesis, which takes place in the cytoplasm. Malonyl-CoA is produced via carboxylation of acetyl-CoA by acetyl-CoA carboxylase ["ACC"; EC 6.4.1.2]. Fatty acid synthesis is catalyzed by a multi-enzyme fatty acid synthase complex ["FAS"; EC 2.3.1.85] and occurs by the condensation of eight two-carbon fragments (acetyl groups from acetyl-CoA) to form a 16- carbon saturated fatty acid, palmitate. More specifically, FAS catalyzes a series of 7 reactions, as summarized below (Smith, S., FASEB J., 8(15): 1248-59 (1994)). First, acetyl-CoA and malonyl-CoA are transferred to the acyl carrier peptide ["ACP"] of FAS. The acetyl group is then transferred to the malonyl group, forming β-ketobutyryl-ACP and releasing CO2. Then, β-ketobutyryl-ACP undergoes reduction (via β-ketoacyl reductase) and dehydration (via β-hydroxyacyl dehydratase) to form a trans- monounsaturated fatty acyl group. The double bond is reduced by NADPH, yielding a saturated fatty- acyl group two carbons longer than the initial one. The ability of the butyryl-group to condense with a new malonyl group and repeat the elongation process is then regenerated. When the fatty acyl group becomes 16 carbons long, a thioesterase activity hydrolyses it, releasing free palmitate.

Fatty acid synthesis can be summarized by the following equation (ignoring H + and water): acetyl-CoA + 7 malonyl-CoA + 14 NADPH → palmitate + 7 CO 2 + 14 NADP + + 8 CoA.

Further elongation and oxidation of palmitate can occur in either the mitochondrion or endoplasmic reticulum. Palmitic acid (16:0) and the C2 elongated form stearic acid (18:0) can be unsaturated to their respective monounsaturated forms, i.e., palmitoleic acid (16:1 ) and oleic acid (18:1 ). This process is catalyzed at the endoplasmic reticulum membrane and provides fatty acids for phospholipid biosynthesis. Palmitic acid may be transported back to the mitochondrial matrix or peroxisomal matrix for oxidation.

Thacylglycerols ["TAGs"], the primary storage unit for fatty acids, are formed by a series of reactions that involve: 1 ) esterification of one molecule of acyl-CoA to glycerol-3-phosphate via an acyltransferase to produce lysophosphatidic acid; 2) esterification of a second molecule of acyl-CoA via an acyltransferase to yield 1 ,2-diacylglycerol phosphate, commonly identified as phosphatidic acid; 3) removal of a phosphate by phosphatidic acid phosphatase to yield 1 ,2-diacylglycerol ["DAG"]; and, 4) addition of a third fatty acid by the action of an acyltransferase to form the TAG.

A wide spectrum of fatty acids can be incorporated into TAGs, including saturated and unsaturated fatty acids and short-chain and long- chain fatty acids. Some non-limiting examples of fatty acids that can be incorporated into TAGs by acyltransferases include: capric (10:0), lauric (12:0), myristic (14:0), palmitic (16:0), palmitoleic (16:1 ), stearic (18:0), oleic (18:1 ), vaccenic (18:1 ), linoleic (18:2), eleostearic (18:3), γ-linolenic (18:3), α- linolenic (18:3), steahdonic (18:4), arachidic (20:0), eicosadienoic (20:2), dihomo-γ-linolenic (20:3), eicosathenoic (20:3), arachidonic (20:4), eicosatetraenoic (20:4), eicosapentaenoic (20:5), behenic (22:0), docosapentaenoic (22:5), docosahexaenoic (22:6), lignoceric (24:0), nervonic (24:1 ), cerotic (26:0) and montanic (28:0) fatty acids.

Described herein are methods for manipulating the content of malonates in a transgenic organism, wherein said malonates comprise the ionised form of malonic acid, as well as its esters and salts. The methods comprise: a) providing a transgenic organism useful in fermentation of at least one product where the transgenic organism comprises at least one gene encoding a malonyl-CoA synthetase under the control of suitable regulatory sequences; and, b) growing the organism to allow expression of the at least one gene encoding a malonyl-CoA synthetase, such that the transgenic organism makes a reduced amount of malonates as a fermentation byproduct compared with the amount of malonates made by the same organism, whether transgenic or not transgenic, provided that the organism:

(i) does not comprise a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase; or, (ii) comprises a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase that is not expressed.

In some embodiments, the at least one gene encoding a malonyl-CoA synthetase is encoded by an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of: SEQ ID NO:2, SEQ ID NO:4, SEQ ID NO:8, SEQ ID NO:9, SEQ ID NO:10, SEQ ID NO:11 , SEQ ID NO:12, SEQ ID NO:13, SEQ ID NO:14, SEQ ID NO:15, SEQ ID NO:16, SEQ ID NO:17, SEQ ID NO:18, SEQ ID NO:19, SEQ ID NO:20, SEQ ID NO:21 and SEQ ID NO:22. The malonyl- CoA synthetase of SEQ ID NO:2 may be encoded by the nucleotide sequence set forth as SEQ ID NO:1 or SEQ ID NO:3, for example.

Perferably, the at least one sequence encoding the malonyl-CoA synthetase is under the control of at least one strong promoter, and one of skill in the art will appreciate that expression of the gene may also be increased by expression in multicopy.

Also described herein are transgenic organisms comprising at least one malonyl-CoA synthetase protein, produced by the methods described above. More specifically, the specification describes a transgenic organism useful in fermentation of at least one product, comprising at least one gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase under control of at least one regulatory sequence; wherein the transgenic organism produces a reduced amount of malonates as a fermentation byproduct compared with the amount of malonates produced by the same organism, whether transgenic or not transgenic, provided that the organism: a) does not comprise a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase; or, b) comprises a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase that is not expressed.

The transgenic organism is preferably selected from the group consisting of algae, fungi, euglenoids, yeast, bacteria and stramenopiles. More preferred are those organisms classified as oleaginous, such that they accumulate at least about 25% of their dry cell weight as oil. For example, preferred oleaginous yeasts include those from the genera Yarrowia, Candida, Rhodotorula, Rhodospoήdium, Cryptococcus, Tήchosporon and Lipomyces.

The "at least one product" refers to any biocatalytically-produced primary product(s) of interest which results from the fermentation. The product may be a compound that is naturally produced by the organism or non-native genes may be genetically engineered into the organism for their functional expression in the fermentation, thereby resulting in a product that is not naturally produced by the organism. Notably, the expression of the heterologous malonyl-CoA synthetase will not have a substantial negative impact on the volumetric productivity or the final titer of the at least one product (when compared to the productivity in the same organism, whether transgenic or not transgenic, provided that the organism (i) does not comprise a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase; or, (ii) comprises a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase that is not expressed).

In some embodiments, the transgenic organisms comprising at least one malonyl-CoA synthetase further comprises at least one genetic mutation. For example, Applicants observed that disruption in at least one native peroxisome biogenesis factor protein ["PEX"] in strains of Yarrowia lipolytica advantageously led to increased production of polyunsaturated fatty acids ["PUFAs"] in the total lipid fraction and in the oil fraction, concurrent with increased production of byproduct malonates. Construction of several Y. lipolytica strains comprising PEX disruptions are described in U.S. Pat. App. No. 12/244950 [E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. Inc. Attorney Docket No. CL3847]; preferred disruptions are within any of the following Pex genes: YIPexi p (GenBank Accession No. CAG82178), YIPex2p (GenBank Accession No. CAG77647), YIPex3p (GenBank Accession No. CAG78565), YIPex3Bp (GenBank Accession No. CAG83356), YIPex4p (GenBank Accession No. CAG79130), YlPexδp (GenBank Accession No. CAG78803), YIPex6p (GenBank Accession No. CAG82306), YIPex7p (GenBank Accession No. CAG78389), YIPexδp (GenBank Accession No. CAG80447), YIPex12p (GenBank Accession No. CAG81532), YIPex13p (GenBank Accession No. CAG81789), YIPex14p (GenBank Accession No. CAG79323), YIPex16p (GenBank Accession No. CAG79622), YIPex17p (GenBank Accession No. CAG84025), YIPex19p (GenBank Accession No. AAK84827), YIPex20p (GenBank Accession No. CAG79226), YIPex22p (GenBank Accession No. CAG77876) and YIPex26p (GenBank Accession No. NC_006072, antisense translation of nucleotides 117230-118387). As described in the Examples, the increased by-production of malonates in these Pex-disrupted strains of Yarrowia was substantially reduced by expression of a heterologous malonyl-CoA synthetase, without negatively affecting the PUFA productivity.

Thus, in one preferred embodiment of the present invention, a transgenic Yarrowia sp. host cell is described, the host cell comprising: a) at least one genetic mutation, wherein the mutation is a disruption in at least one native peroxisome biogenesis factor protein; and, b) at least one gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase under control of at least one regulatory sequence; and, c) genes encoding a functional polyunsaturated fatty acid biosynthetic pathway.

One of skill in the art will be capable of identifying other genetic mutations within the transgenic organism that result in production of unacceptable amounts of malonates during fermentation of the at least one product. Expression of at least one malonyl-CoA synthetase gene under the control of at least one regulatory sequence will result in a transgenic organism that produces a reduced amount of malonates as a fermentation byproduct compared with the amount of malonates produced by the same organism, whether transgenic or not transgenic, provided that the organism (i) does not comprise a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase; or, (ii) comprises a gene encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase that is not expressed.

It is necessary to create and introduce a recombinant construct comprising an open reading frame [ORF"] encoding malonyl-CoA synthetase into the organism useful in a fermentation. One of skill in the art is aware of standard resource materials that describe: 1 ) specific conditions and procedures for construction, manipulation and isolation of macromolecules, such as DNA molecules, plasmids, etc.; 2) generation of recombinant DNA fragments and recombinant expression constructs; and 3) screening and isolating of clones. See Sambrook et al., Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, 2 nd e<±, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: Cold Spring Harbor, NY (1989); Maliga et al., Methods in Plant Molecular Biology, Cold Spring Harbor, NY (1995); Birren et al., Genome Analysis: Detecting Genes, v. 1 , Cold Spring Harbor, NY (1998); Birren et al., Genome Analysis: Analyzing DNA, v. 2, Cold Spring Harbor: NY (1998); Plant Molecular Biology: A Laboratory Manual. Clark, ed. Springer: NY (1997).

In general, the choice of sequences included in the construct depends on the desired expression products, the nature of the host cell and the proposed means of separating transformed cells versus non-transformed cells. The skilled artisan is aware of the genetic elements that must be present on the plasmid vector to successfully transform, select and propagate host cells containing the chimeric gene. Typically, however, the vector or cassette contains sequences directing transcription and translation of the relevant gene(s), a selectable marker and sequences allowing autonomous replication or chromosomal integration. Suitable vectors comprise a region 5' of the gene that controls transcriptional initiation, i.e., a promoter, and a region 3' of the DNA fragment that controls transcriptional termination, i.e., a terminator. It is most preferred when both control regions are derived from genes from the transformed host cell.

Initiation control regions or promoters useful for driving expression of heterologous genes or portions of them in the desired host cell are numerous and well known. These control regions may comprise a promoter, enhancer, silencer, intron sequences, 3' UTR and/or 5' UTR regions, and protein and/or RNA stabilizing elements. Such elements may vary in their strength and specificity. Virtually any promoter, i.e., native, synthetic, or chimeric, capable of directing expression of these genes in the selected host cell is suitable. Expression in a host cell can occur in an induced or constitutive fashion. Induced expression occurs by inducing the activity of a regulatable promoter operably linked to the malonyl-CoA synthetase gene of interest. Constitutive expression occurs by the use of a constitutive promoter operably linked to the gene of interest. When the host cell is, e.g., yeast, transcriptional and translational regions functional in yeast cells are provided, particularly from the host species. See Int'l. App. Pub. No. WO 2006/052870 for preferred transcriptional initiation regulatory regions for use in Yarrowia lipolytica. Any number of regulatory sequences may be used, depending on whether constitutive or induced transcription is desired, the efficiency of the promoter in expressing the ORF of interest, the ease of construction, etc.

3' non-coding sequences encoding transcription termination signals, i.e., a "termination region", must be provided in a recombinant construct and may be from the 3' region of the gene from which the initiation region was obtained or from a different gene. A large number of termination regions are known and function satisfactorily in a variety of hosts when utilized in both the same and different genera and species from which they were derived. The termination region is selected more for convenience rather than for any particular property. Termination regions may also be derived from various genes native to the preferred hosts.

Particularly useful termination regions for use in yeast are derived from a yeast gene, particularly Saccharomyces, Schizosaccharomyces, Candida, Yarrowia or Kluyveromyces. The 3'-regions of mammalian genes encoding γ- interferon and α-2 interferon are also known to function in yeast. The 3'- region can also be synthetic, as one of skill in the art can utilize available information to design and synthesize a 3'-region sequence that functions as a transcription terminator. A termination region may be unnecessary, but is highly preferred.

The vector may comprise a selectable and/or scorable marker, in addition to the regulatory elements described above. Preferably, the marker gene is an antibiotic resistance gene such that treating cells with the antibiotic results in growth inhibition, or death, of untransformed cells and uninhibited growth of transformed cells. For selection of yeast transformants, any marker that functions in yeast is useful with resistance to kanamycin, hygromycin and the amino glycoside G418 and the ability to grow on media lacking uracil, lysine, histine or leucine being particularly useful.

Merely inserting a gene into a cloning vector does not ensure its expression at the desired rate, concentration, amount, etc. In response to the need for a high expression rate, many specialized expression vectors have been created by manipulating a number of different genetic elements that control transcription, RNA stability, translation, protein stability and location, oxygen limitation, and secretion from the host cell. Some of the manipulated features include: the nature of the relevant transcriptional promoter and terminator sequences, the number of copies of the cloned gene and whether the gene is plasmid-borne or integrated into the genome of the host cell, the final cellular location of the synthesized foreign protein, the efficiency of translation and correct folding of the protein in the host organism, the intrinsic stability of the mRNA and protein of the cloned gene within the host cell and the codon usage within the cloned gene, such that its frequency approaches the frequency of preferred codon usage of the host cell. Each of these may be used in the methods and host cells described herein to further optimize expression of malonyl-CoA synthetase genes.

After a recombinant construct is created comprising at least one chimeric gene comprising a promoter, a malonyl-CoA synthetase ORF and a terminator, it is placed in a plasmid vector capable of autonomous replication in the host cell or is directly integrated into the genome of the host cell. Integration of expression cassettes can occur randomly within the host genome or can be targeted through the use of constructs containing regions of homology with the host genome sufficient to target recombination with the host locus. Where constructs are targeted to an endogenous locus, all or some of the transcriptional and translational regulatory regions can be provided by the endogenous locus.

When two or more genes are expressed from separate replicating vectors, each vector may have a different means of selection and should lack homology to the other construct(s) to maintain stable expression and prevent reassortment of elements among constructs. Judicious choice of regulatory regions, selection means and method of propagation of the introduced construct(s) can be experimentally determined so that all introduced genes are expressed at the necessary levels to provide for synthesis of the desired products.

Constructs comprising the gene of interest may be introduced into a host cell by any standard technique. These techniques include transformation, e.g., lithium acetate transformation (Methods in Enzymology, 194:186-187 (1991 )), protoplast fusion, biolistic impact, electroporation, microinjection, vacuum filtration or any other method that introduces the gene of interest into the host cell.

For convenience, a host cell that has been manipulated by any method to take up a DNA sequence, for example, in an expression cassette, is referred to herein as "transformed" or "recombinant". The transformed host will have at least one copy of the expression construct and may have two or more, depending upon whether the gene is integrated into the genome, amplified, or is present on an extrachromosomal element having multiple copy numbers.

The transformed host cell can be identified by selection for a marker contained on the introduced construct. Alternatively, a separate marker construct may be co-transformed with the desired construct, as many transformation techniques introduce many DNA molecules into host cells.

Typically, transformed hosts are selected for their ability to grow on selective media, which may incorporate an antibiotic or lack a factor necessary for growth of the untransformed host, such as a nutrient or growth factor. An introduced marker gene may confer antibiotic resistance, or encode an essential growth factor or enzyme, thereby permitting growth on selective media when expressed in the transformed host. Selection of a transformed host can also occur when the expressed marker protein can be detected, either directly or indirectly. The marker protein may be expressed alone or as a fusion to another protein. Cells expressing the marker protein or tag can be selected, for example, visually, or by techniques such as fluorescence-activated cell sorting or panning using antibodies.

Regardless of the selected host or expression construct, multiple transformants must be screened to obtain a strain or line displaying the desired expression level, regulation and pattern, as different independent transformation events result in different levels and patterns of expression (Jones et al., EMBO J., 4:2411 -2418 (1985); De Almeida et al., MoI. Gen. Genetics, 218:78-86 (1989)). Such screening may be accomplished by Southern analysis of DNA blots (Southern, J. MoI. Biol., 98:503 (1975)), Northern analysis of mRNA expression (Kroczek, J. Chromatogr. Biomed. Appl., 618(1-2):133-145 (1993)), Western and/or Elisa analyses of protein expression, phenotypic analysis or iron chromatography analyses of the fermentation broth to detect any changes in the organic acid levels.

A variety of eukaryotic organisms are suitable to serve as a transgenic organism comprising a heterologous malonyl-CoA synthetase, as described in the methods of the present disclosure. Various fungi, algae, oomycetes, yeasts, stramenopiles, bacteria and/or euglenoids that can be grown in a fermenter may be useful hosts.

In some cases, oleaginous organisms are preferred. Oleaginous organisms are naturally capable of oil synthesis and accumulation, commonly accumulating in excess of about 25% of their dry cell weight as oil. Various algae, moss, fungi, yeast, stramenopiles and plants are naturally classified as oleaginous. In alternate embodiments, a non-oleaginous organism can be genetically modified to become oleaginous, e.g., yeast such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

More preferred oleaginous microbes include those algal, stramenopile and fungal organisms that naturally produce ω-3/ ω-6 PUFAs. For example, ARA, EPA and/or DHA is produced via Cyclotella sp., Nitzschia sp., Pythium, Thraustochytrium sp., Schizochytrium sp. and Mortierella. The method of transformation of M. alpina is described by Mackenzie et al. (Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 66:4655 (2000)). Similarly, methods for transformation of Thraustochytriales microorganisms (e.g., Thraustochytrium, Schizochytrium) are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 7,001 ,772.

More preferred are oleaginous yeasts, including those that naturally produce and those genetically engineered to produce ω-3/ ω-6 PUFAs (infra). Genera typically identified as oleaginous yeast include, but are not limited to: Yarrowia, Candida, Rhodotorula, Rhodosporidium, Cryptococcus, Trichosporon and Lipomyces. More specifically, illustrative oil-synthesizing yeasts include: Rhodosporidium toruloides, Lipomyces starkeyii, L. lipoferus, Candida revkaufi, C. pulcherrima, C. tropicalis, C. utilis, Trichosporon pullans, T. cutaneum, Rhodotorula glutinus, R. graminis and Yarrowia lipolytica (formerly classified as Candida lipolytica).

The most preferred oleaginous yeast is Yarrowia lipolytica; and most preferred are Y. lipolytica strains designated as ATCC #76982, ATCC #20362, ATCC #8862, ATCC #18944 and/or LGAM S(7)1 (Papanikolaou S., and Aggelis G., Bioresour. Technol., 82(1 ):43-9 (2002)).

Specific teachings relating to transformation of Yarrowia lipolytica include U.S. Pat. No. 4,880,741 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,071 ,764 and Chen, D. C. et al. {Appl. Microbiol. BiotechnoL, 48(2):232-235 (1997)), while suitable selection techniques are described in U.S. Pat. No. 7,238,482, U.S. Pat. No. 7,259,255 and InH. App. Pub. No. WO 2006/052870.

The preferred method of expressing genes in Yarrowia lipolytica is by integration of linear DNA into the genome of the host. Integration into multiple locations within the genome can be particularly useful when high level expression of genes is desired, such as in the Ura3 locus (GenBank Accession No. AJ306421 ), the Leu2 gene locus (GenBank Accession No. AF260230), the Lys5 gene locus (GenBank Accession No. M34929), the Aco2 gene locus (GenBank Accession No. AJ001300), the Pox3 gene locus (Pox3: GenBank Accession No. XP_503244 or Aco3: GenBank Accession No. AJ001301 ), the Δ12 desaturase gene locus (U.S. Pat. No. 7,214,491 ), the Lip1 gene locus (GenBank Accession No. Z50020), the Lip2 gene locus (GenBank Accession No. AJ012632), the SCP2 gene locus (GenBank Accession No. AJ431362), the Pex3 gene locus (GenBank Accession No. CAG78565), the Pex16 gene locus (GenBank Accession No. CAG79622) and/or the Pex10 gene locus (GenBank Accession No. CAG81606).

Preferred selection methods for use in Yarrowia lipolytica include resistance to kanamycin, hygromycin and the amino glycoside G418 and the ability to grow on media lacking uracil, leucine, lysine, tryptophan or histidine. 5-fluoroorotic acid [5-fluorouracil-6-carboxylic acid monohydrate or "5-FOA"] may also be used for selection of yeast Ura ~ mutants. This compound is toxic to yeast cells that possess a functioning URA3 gene encoding orotidine 5'- monophosphate decarboxylase [OMP decarboxylase]; thus, based on this toxicity, 5-FOA is especially useful for the selection and identification of Ura ~ mutant yeast strains (Bartel, P. L. and Fields, S., Yeast 2-Hybhd System, Oxford University: New York, v. 7, pp 109-147, 1997; see also Int'l. App. Pub. No. WO 2006/052870 for 5-FOA use in Yarrowia).

An alternate preferred selection method for use in Yarrowia relies on a dominant, non-antibiotic marker for Yarrowia lipolytica based on sulfonylurea (chlorimuron ethyl; E. I. duPont de Nemours & Co., Inc., Wilmington, DE) resistance. More specifically, the marker gene is a native acetohydroxyacid synthase ("AHAS" or acetolactate synthase; E. C. 4.1.3.18) that has a single amino acid change, i.e., W497L, that confers sulfonyl urea herbicide resistance (Int'l. App. Pub. No. WO 2006/052870). AHAS is the first common enzyme in the pathway for the biosynthesis of branched-chain amino acids, i.e., valine, leucine, isoleucine, and it is the target of the sulfonylurea and imidazolinone herbicides.

The transgenic organism is grown under conditions that optimize production of the at least one product, while controlling the production of malonates. This will reduce carbon and energy waste within the organism as well as the amount of byproduct organic acids that require neutralization during fermentation while maintaining an optimal pH range within the fermentation waste steam. Optimally, fermentation of the organism comprising the heterologous malyonyl-CoA synthetase will reduce the total cost of manufacture of the at least one product.

In general, media conditions may be optimized by modifying the type and amount of carbon source, the type and amount of nitrogen source, the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, the amount of different mineral ions, the oxygen level, growth temperature, pH, length of the biomass production phase, length of the oil accumulation phase and the time and method of cell harvest. For example, the oleaginous yeast of interest, such as Yarrowia lipolytica, is generally grown in a complex medium such as yeast extract-peptone- dextrose broth ["YPD"], a defined minimal media, or a defined minimal media that lacks a component necessary for growth and forces selection of the desired expression cassettes (e.g., Yeast Nitrogen Base (DIFCO Laboratories, Detroit, Ml)).

Fermentation media for the methods and transgenic organisms described herein must contain a suitable carbon source such as taught in U.S. Pat. No. 7,238,482. Suitable sources of carbon encompass a wide variety of sources, with sugars such as glucose, fructose, glycerol and/or fatty acids being preferred. Most preferred is glucose and/or fatty acids containing between 10-22 carbons.

Nitrogen may be supplied from an inorganic (e.g., (NH4)2SO4) or organic (e.g., urea or glutamate) source. In addition to appropriate carbon and nitrogen sources, the fermentation media must also contain suitable minerals, salts, cofactors, buffers, vitamins and other components known to those skilled in the art suitable for the growth of the organism and the promotion of the enzymatic pathways that enable production of the at least one product.

It is contemplated that a variety of fermentation process designs (e.g., batch, fed-batch or continuous) may be applied for production of the at least one product. A batch fermentation process is a closed system wherein the media composition is fixed at the beginning of the process and not subject to further additions beyond those required for maintenance of pH and oxygen level during the process. Thus, at the beginning of the culturing process the media is inoculated with the desired organism and growth or metabolic activity occurs without adding additional sources (i.e., carbon and nitrogen sources) to the medium. In batch processes, the metabolite and biomass compositions of the system change constantly up to the time the culture is terminated. In a typical batch process, cells proceed through a static lag phase to a high-growth log phase and finally to a stationary phase, wherein the growth rate is diminished or halted. Left untreated, cells in the stationary phase will eventually die.

A variation of the standard batch process is the fed-batch process, wherein the carbon source is continually added to the fermenter over the course of the fermentation process. A fed-batch process is also suitable herein. Fed-batch processes are useful when catabolite repression is apt to inhibit the metabolism of the cells or where it is desirable to have limited amounts of carbon source in the media at any one time. Measurement of the carbon source concentration in fed-batch systems is difficult and therefore may be estimated on the basis of the changes of measurable factors such as pH, dissolved oxygen and the partial pressure of waste gases (e.g., CO2). Batch and fed-batch culturing methods are common and well known in the art and examples may be found in Thomas D. Brock in Biotechnology: A

Textbook of Industrial Microbiology, 2 nc l ed., (1989) Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA; or Deshpande, Mukund V., Appl. Biochem. Biotechnol., 36:227 (1992).

Alternatively, a continuous fermentation process occurs when a defined media is continuously added to a bioreactor while an equal amount of culture volume is removed simultaneously for product recovery. Continuous cultures generally maintain the cells in the log phase of growth at a constant cell density. Continuous or semi-continuous culture methods permit the modulation of one factor or any number of factors that affect cell growth or end product concentration. For example, one approach may limit the carbon source and allow all other parameters to moderate metabolism. In other systems, a number of factors affecting growth may be altered continuously while the cell concentration, measured by media turbidity, is kept constant. Continuous systems strive to maintain steady state growth and thus the cell growth rate must be balanced against cell loss due to media being drawn off the culture. Methods of modulating nutrients and growth factors for continuous culture processes, as well as techniques for maximizing the rate of product formation, are well known in the art of industrial microbiology and a variety of methods are detailed by Brock, supra.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The metabolic process wherein oleic acid (18:1 ) is converted to ω-3/ ω-6 fatty acids involves elongation of the carbon chain through the addition of carbon atoms and desaturation of the molecule through the addition of double bonds. This requires a series of special elongation and desaturation enzymes present in the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. However, as seen in FIG. 3 and as described below, there are often multiple alternate pathways for production of a specific ω-3/ ω-6 fatty acid.

Specifically, FIG. 3 depicts the pathways described below. All pathways require the initial conversion of oleic acid to linoleic acid ["LA"], the first of the ω-6 fatty acids, by a Δ12 desaturase. Then, using the "Δ6 desaturase/Δ6 elongase pathway" and LA as substrate, long-chain ω-6 fatty acids are formed as follows: 1 ) LA is converted to γ-linolenic acid ["GLA"] by a Δ6 desaturase; 2) GLA is converted to dihomoγ-γ-linolenic acid ["DGLA"] by a C18/20 elongase; 3) DGLA is converted to arachidonic acid ["ARA"] by a Δ5 desaturase; 4) ARA is converted to docosatetraenoic acid ["DTA"] by a C20/22 elongase; and, 5) DTA is converted to docosapentaenoic acid ["DPAn-6"] by a Δ4 desaturase. Alternatively, the "Δ6 desaturase/Δ6 elongase pathway" can use α- linolenic acid ["ALA"] as substrate to produce long-chain ω-3 fatty acids as follows: 1 ) LA is converted to ALA, the first of the ω-3 fatty acids, by a Δ15 desaturase; 2) ALA is converted to stearidonic acid ["STA"] by a Δ6 desaturase; 3) STA is converted to eicosatetraenoic acid ["ETA"] by a C 18/20 elongase; 4) ETA is converted to eicosapentaenoic acid ["EPA"] by a Δ5 desaturase; 5) EPA is converted to docosapentaenoic acid ["DPA"] by a C20/22 elongase; and, 6) DPA is converted to docosahexaenoic acid ["DHA"] by a Δ4 desaturase. Optionally, ω-6 fatty acids may be converted to ω-3 fatty acids. For example, ETA and EPA are produced from DGLA and ARA, respectively, by Δ17 desaturase activity.

Alternate pathways for the biosynthesis of ω-3/ ω-6 fatty acids utilize Δ9 elongase and Δ8 desaturase, that is, the "Δ9 elongase/ Δ8 desaturase pathway". More specifically, LA and ALA may be converted to EDA and ETrA, respectively, by a Δ9 elongase. A Δ8 desaturase then converts EDA to DGLA and/or ETrA to ETA. Downstream PUFAs are subsequently formed as described above.

The transgenic organism herein preferably possesses the ability to produce PUFAs, either naturally or via techniques of genetic engineering. Although many microorganisms can synthesize PUFAs (including ω-3/ ω-6 fatty acids) in the ordinary course of cellular metabolism, some of whom could be commercially cultured, few to none of these organisms produce oils having a desired oil content and composition for use in pharmaceuticals, dietary substitutes, medical foods, nutritional supplements, other food products, industrial oleochemicals or other end-use applications. Thus, there is increasing emphasis on the ability to engineer microorganisms for production of "designer" lipids and oils, wherein the fatty acid content and composition are carefully specified by genetic engineering. On this basis, it is expected that the host likely comprises heterologous genes encoding a functional PUFA biosynthetic pathway but not necessarily. If the host organism does not natively produce the desired PUFAs or possess the desired lipid profile, one skilled in the art is familiar with the considerations and techniques necessary to introduce one or more expression cassettes encoding appropriate enzymes for PUFA biosynthesis into the host organism of choice. Numerous teachings are provided in the literature to one of skill for so introducing such expression cassettes into various host organisms. Some references using the host organism Yarrowia lipolytica are provided as follows: U.S. Pat. No. 7,238,482, U.S. Pat. No. 7,465,564, U.S. Pat. No. 7,550,286, U.S. Pat. No. 7,588,931 , U.S. Pat. Appl. Pub. No. 2006-0115881 -A1 and U.S. Pat. Appl. Pub. No. 2009-0093543-A1. This list is not exhaustive and should not be construed as limiting.

Briefly, a variety of ω-3/ ω-6 PUFA products can be produced prior to their transfer to TAGs, depending on the fatty acid substrate and the particular genes of the ω-3/ ω-6 fatty acid biosynthetic pathway that are present in or transformed into the host cell. As such, production of the desired fatty acid product can occur directly or indirectly. Direct production occurs when the fatty acid substrate is converted directly into the desired fatty acid product without any intermediate steps or pathway intermediates. Indirect production occurs when multiple genes encoding the PUFA biosynthetic pathway may be used in combination such that a series of reactions occur to produce a desired PUFA. Specifically, it may be desirable to transform an oleaginous yeast with an expression cassette comprising a Δ12 desaturase, Δ6 desaturase, a C18/20 elongase, a Δ5 desaturase and a Δ17 desaturase for the overproduction of EPA. See U.S. Pat. No. 7,238,482 and Int'l. App. Pub. No. WO 2006/052870. As is well known to one skilled in the art, various other combinations of genes encoding enzymes of the PUFA biosynthetic pathway may be useful to express in an oleaginous organism (see FIG. 3). The particular genes included within a particular expression cassette depend on the host organism, its PUFA profile and/or desaturase/elongase profile, the availability of substrate and the desired end product(s). A number of candidate genes having the desired desaturase and/or elongase activities can be identified according to publicly available literature, such as GenBank, the patent literature, and experimental analysis of organisms having the ability to produce PUFAs. Useful desaturase and elongase sequences may be derived from any source, e.g., isolated from a natural source such as from bacteria, algae, fungi, oomycete, yeast, plants, animals, etc., produced via a semi-synthetic route or synthesized de novo. Following the identification of these candidate genes, considerations for choosing a specific polypeptide having desaturase or elongase activity include: 1 ) the substrate specificity of the polypeptide; 2) whether the polypeptide or a component thereof is a rate-limiting enzyme; 3) whether the desaturase or elongase is essential for synthesis of a desired PUFA; 4) co- factors required by the polypeptide; 5) whether the polypeptide is modified after its production, such as by a kinase or a prenyltransferase; and/or, 6) whether the polypeptide is physically within an appropriate cellular location following its production.

The expressed polypeptide preferably has parameters compatible with the biochemical environment of its location in the host cell. See U.S. Pat. No. 7,238,482. It may also be useful to consider the conversion efficiency of each particular desaturase and/or elongase. More specifically, since each enzyme rarely functions with 100% efficiency to convert substrate to product, the final lipid profile of un-puhfied oils produced in a host cell is typically a mixture of various PUFAs consisting of the desired ω-3/ ω-6 fatty acid, as well as various upstream intermediary PUFAs. Thus, the conversion efficiency of each enzyme is also a variable to consider when optimizing biosynthesis of a desired fatty acid.

Typically, accumulation of significant amounts of PUFAs and TAGs in oleaginous yeast cells requires a two-stage process, since the metabolic state must be "balanced" between growth and synthesis/storage of fats (see, U.S. Pat. No. 7,238,482). In this approach, the first stage of the fermentation is dedicated to the generation and accumulation of cell mass and is characterized by rapid cell growth and cell division. In the second stage of the fermentation, it is preferable to establish conditions of nitrogen deprivation in the culture to promote high levels of lipid accumulation. Often, the carbon/nitrogen ratio is greater than about 40, preferably greater than about 50, and more preferably greater than about 60. The effect of this nitrogen deprivation is to reduce the effective concentration of AMP in the cells, thereby reducing the activity of the NAD-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase of mitochondria. When this occurs, citric acid will accumulate, thus forming abundant pools of acetyl-CoA in the cytoplasm and priming fatty acid synthesis. Thus, this phase is characterized by the cessation of cell division followed by the synthesis of fatty acids and accumulation of oil.

Preferred growth media for the methods and host cells described herein are common commercially prepared media, such as Yeast Nitrogen Base (DIFCO Laboratories, Detroit, Ml). Other defined or synthetic growth media may also be used and the appropriate medium for growth of the transgenic organism is well known in microbiology or fermentation science. A suitable pH range for the fermentation is typically between about pH 4.0 to pH 8.0, wherein pH 5.5 to pH 7.5 is preferred as the range for the initial growth conditions. The fermentation may be conducted under aerobic or anaerobic conditions, wherein microaerobic conditions are preferred.

Particular attention is given to several metal ions, such as Fe + ^, Cu + ^, Mn + 2, Co + 2, Zn + 2 and Mg + 2, that promote synthesis of lipids and PUFAs (Nakahara, T. et al., Ind. Appl. Single Cell Oils, D. J. Kyle and R. Colin, eds. pp 61 -97 (1992).

EXAMPLES

The present invention is further described in the following Examples, which illustrate reductions to practice of the invention but do not completely define all of its possible variations. GENERAL METHODS

Standard recombinant DNA and molecular cloning techniques used in the Examples are well known in the art and are described by: 1 ) Sambrook, J., Fritsch, E. F. and Maniatis, T., Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: Cold Spring Harbor, NY (1989) (Maniatis);

2) T. J. Silhavy, M. L. Bennan, and L. W. Enquist, Experiments with Gene Fusions; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: Cold Spring Harbor, NY (1984); and,

3) Ausubel, F. M. et al., Current Protocols in Molecular Biology, published by Greene Publishing Assoc, and Wiley-lnterscience, Hoboken, NJ (1987).

Materials and methods suitable for the maintenance and growth of microbial cultures are well known in the art. Techniques suitable for use in the following examples may be found as set out in Manual of Methods for General Bacteriology (Phillipp Gerhardt, R. G. E. Murray, Ralph N. Costilow, Eugene W. Nester, Willis A. Wood, Noel R. Krieg and G. Briggs Phillips, Eds), American Society for Microbiology: Washington, D.C. (1994)); or by Thomas

D. Brock in Biotechnology: A Textbook of Industrial Microbiology, 2 n d ed., Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA (1989). All reagents, restriction enzymes and materials used for the growth and maintenance of microbial cells were obtained from Aldrich Chemicals (Milwaukee, Wl), DIFCO Laboratories (Detroit, Ml), New England Biolabs, Inc. (Beverly, MA), GIBCO/BRL (Gaithersburg, MD), or Sigma Chemical Company (St. Louis,

MO), unless otherwise specified. E. coli strains were typically grown at 37 0 C on Luria Bertani (LB) plates.

General molecular cloning was performed according to standard methods (Sambrook et al., supra). DNA sequence was generated on an ABI Automatic sequencer using dye terminator technology (U.S. Pat. No. 5,366,860; EP 272,007) using a combination of vector and insert-specific primers. Sequence editing was performed in Sequencher (Gene Codes Corporation, Ann Arbor, Ml). All sequences represent coverage at least two times in both directions. Unless otherwise indicated herein comparisons of genetic sequences were accomplished using DNASTAR software (DNASTAR Inc., Madison, Wl). The meaning of abbreviations is as follows: "sec" means second(s), "min" means minute(s), "h" means hour(s), "d" means day(s), "μl_" means microliter(s), "ml_" means milliliter(s), "L" means liter(s), "μM" means micromolar, "mM" means millimolar, "M" means molar, "mmol" means millimole(s), "μmole" mean micromole(s), "g" means gram(s), "μg" means microgram(s), "ng" means nanogram(s), "U" means unit(s), "bp" means base pair(s) and "kB" means kilobase(s). Nomenclature For Expression Cassettes:

The structure of an expression cassette is represented by a simple notation system of "X::Y::Z", wherein X describes the promoter fragment, Y describes the gene fragment, and Z describes the terminator fragment, which are all operably linked to one another. Transformation And Cultivation Of Yarrowia lipolytica

Yarrowia lipolytica strain ATCC #20362 was purchased from the American Type Culture Collection (Rockville, MD). Yarrowia lipolytica strains were routinely grown at 28-30 0 C in several media, according to the recipes shown below.

High Glucose Media (HGM) (per liter): 80 glucose, 2.58 g KH 2 PO 4 and

5.36 g K 2 HPO 4 , pH 7.5 (do not need to adjust).

Fermentation medium (FM) (per liter): 6.70 g/L Yeast nitrogen base, 6.00 g KH 2 PO 4 , 2.00 g K 2 HPO 4 , 1.50 g MgSO 4 * 7H 2 O, 20 g glucose, and 5.00 g Yeast extract (BBL).

Transformation of Y. lipolytica was performed as described in U.S. Pat. Appl. Pub. No. 2009-0093543-A1 , hereby incorporated herein by reference. Isolation Of Yarrowia lipolytica Strain Y4305U

Strain Y4305U, producing EPA relative to the total lipids via expression of a Δ9 elongase/Δ8 desaturase pathway, was generated as described in the General Methods of U.S. Pat. App. Pub. No. 2008-0254191 , hereby incorporated herein by reference. Briefly, as diagrammed in FIG. 4, strain Y4305U was derived from Yarrowia lipolytica ATCC #20362 via construction of strain Y2224 (a FOA resistant mutant from an autonomous mutation of the Ura3 gene of wildtype Yarrowia strain ATCC #20362), strain Y4001 (producing 17% EDA with a Leu- phenotype), strain Y4001 U1 (Leu- and Ura- ), strain Y4036 (producing 18% DGLA with a Leu- phenotype), strain Y4036U (Leu- and Ura-), strain Y4070 (producing 12% ARA with a Ura- phenotype), strain Y4086 (producing 14% EPA), strain Y4086U1 (Ura3-), strain Y4128 (producing 37% EPA; deposited with the American Type Culture Collection on August 23, 2007, bearing the designation ATCC PTA-8614), strain Y4128U3 {Ura-), strain Y4217 (producing 42% EPA), strain Y4217U2 {Ura-), strain Y4259 (producing 46.5% EPA), strain Y4259U2 {Ura-) and strain Y4305 (producing 53.2% EPA relative to the total TFAs).

The complete lipid profile of strain Y4305 was as follows: 16:0 (2.8%), 16:1 (0.7%), 18:0 (1.3%), 18:1 (4.9%), 18:2 (17.6%), ALA (2.3%), EDA (3.4%), DGLA (2.0%), ARA (0.6%), ETA (1.7%), and EPA (53.2%). The total lipid % dry cell weight ["DCW"] was 27.5.

The final genotype of strain Y4305 with respect to wild type Yarrowia lipolytica ATCC #20362 was SCP2- (YALI0E01298g), YALI0C18711g-, Pex10-, YALI0F24167g-, unknown 1-, unknown 3-, unknown 8-, GPD::FmD12::Pex20, YAT1 ::FmD12::OCT, GPM/FBAIN::FmD12S::OCT, EXP1 ::FmD12S::Aco, YAT1 ::FmD12S::Lip2, YAT1 ::ME3S::Pex16, EXP1 ::ME3S::Pex20 (3 copies), GPAT::EgD9e::Lip2, EXP1 ::EgD9eS::Lip1 , FBAINm::EgD9eS::Lip2, FBA::EgD9eS::Pex20, GPD::EgD9eS::Lip2, YAT1 ::EgD9eS::Lip2, YAT1 ::E389D9eS::OCT, FBAINm::EgD8M::Pex20, FBAIN::EgD8M::Lip1 (2 copies), EXP1 ::EgD8M::Pex16, GPDIN::EgD8M::Lip1 , YAT1 ::EgD8M::Aco, FBAIN::EgD5::Aco, EXP1 ::EgD5S::Pex20, YAT1 ::EgD5S::Aco, EXP1 ::EgD5S::ACO, YAT1 ::RD5S::OCT, YAT1 ::PaD17S::Lip1 , EXP1 ::PaD17::Pex16, FBAINm::PaD17::Aco, YAT1 ::YICPT1 ::ACO, GPD::YICPT1 ::ACO (wherein FmD12 is a Fusarium moniliforme Δ12 desaturase gene [U.S. Pat. No. 7,504,259]; FmD12S is a codon-optimized Δ12 desaturase gene, derived from Fusaήum moniliforme [U.S. Pat. No. 7,504,259]; ME3S is a codon- optimized Clem elongase gene, derived from Mortierella alpina [U.S. Pat. No. 7,470,532]; EgD9e is a Euglena gracilis Δ9 elongase gene [Int'l. App. Pub. No. WO 2007/061742]; EgD9eS is a codon-optimized Δ9 elongase gene, derived from Euglena gracilis [Int'l. App. Pub. No. WO 2007/061742]; E389D9eS is a codon-optimized Δ9 elongase gene, derived from Eutreptiella sp. CCMP389 [Int'l. App. Pub. No. WO 2007/061742]; EgD8M is a synthetic mutant Δ8 desaturase [Int'l. App. Pub. No. WO 2008/073271], derived from Euglena gracilis [U.S. Pat. No. 7,256,033]; EgD5 is a Euglena gracilis Δ5 desaturase [U.S. Pat. App. Pub. No. 2007-0292924]; EgD5S is a codon- optimized Δ5 desaturase gene, derived from Euglena gracilis [U.S. Pat. App. Pub. No. 2007-0292924]; RD5S is a codon-optimized Δ5 desaturase, derived from Peridinium sp. CCMP626 [U.S. Pat. App. Pub. No. 2007-0271632]; PaD17 is a Pythium aphanidermatum Δ17 desaturase [U.S. Pat. No. 7,556,949]; PaD17S is a codon-optimized Δ17 desaturase, derived from Pythium aphanidermatum [U.S. Pat. No. 7,556,949]; and, YICPT1 is a Yarrowia lipolytica diacylglycerol cholinephosphotransferase gene [Int'l. App. Pub. No. WO 2006/052870]).

The Ura3 gene was subsequently disrupted in strain Y4305 (as described in the General Methods of U.S. Pat. App. Pub. No. 2008-0254191 ), such that a Ura3 mutant gene was integrated into the Ura3 gene of strain Y4305. Following selection of the transformants and analysis of the FAMEs, transformants #1 , #6 and #7 were determined to produce 37.6%, 37.3% and 36.5% EPA of total lipids when grown on MM + 5-FOA plates. These three strains were designated as strains Y4305U1 , Y4305U2 and Y4305U3, respectively, and are collectively identified as strain Y4305U. Fatty Acid Analysis Of Yarrowia lipolytica

For fatty acid analysis, cells were collected by centhfugation and lipids were extracted as described in Bligh, E. G. & Dyer, W. J. (Can. J. Biochem. Physiol., 37:911 -917 (1959)). Fatty acid methyl esters ["FAMEs"] were prepared by transesterification of the lipid extract with sodium methoxide (Roughan, G., and Nishida I., Arch Biochem Biophys., 276(1 ):38-46 (1990)) and subsequently analyzed with a Hewlett-Packard 6890 GC fitted with a 30- m X 0.25 mm (i.d.) HP-INNOWAX (Hewlett-Packard) column. The oven temperature was from 170 °C (25 min hold) to 185 °C at 3.5 °C/min.

For direct base transesterification, Yarrowia culture (3 ml_) was harvested, washed once in distilled water, and dried under vacuum in a Speed-Vac for 5-10 min. Sodium methoxide (100 μl of 1 %) was added to the sample, and then the sample was vortexed and rocked for 20 min. After adding 3 drops of 1 M NaCI and 400 μl hexane, the sample was vortexed and spun. The upper layer was removed and analyzed by GC as described above.

EXAMPLE 1 Identification Of Publicly Available Genes Encoding Malonyl-CoA Synthetase

A gene cluster was identified to encode malonyl-CoA decarboxylase (MatA), malonyl-CoA synthetase (MatB) and a putative dicarboxylate carrier protein (MatC) in Rhizobium trifolii (An, J. H, & Y. S. Kim, Eur.J. Biochem., 257:395-402 (1998)).

Using the protein sequence encoding the Rhizobium trifolii malonyl- CoA synthetase (GenBank Accession No. AF117694 and No. AAC83455; SEQ ID NO:5), National Center for Biotechnology Information ["NCBI"] BLASTP 2.2.19 (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool; Altschul, S. F., et al., Nucleic Acids Res., 25:3389-3402 (1997); Altschul, S. F., et al., FEBS J., 272:5101-5109 (2005)) searches were conducted to identify sequences having similarity within the BLAST "nr" database (comprising all non- redundant GenBank CDS translations, the Protein Data Bank ["PDB"] protein sequence database, the SWISS-PROT protein sequence database, the Protein Information Resource ["PIR"] protein sequence database and the Protein Research Foundation ["PRF"] protein sequence database, excluding environmental samples from whole genome shotgun ["WGS"] projects).

The results of the BLASTP comparison summarizing the sequence to which SEQ ID NO:5 has the most similarity are reported according to the % identity, % similarity and Expectation value. "% Identity" is defined as the percentage of amino acids that are identical between the two proteins. " % Similarity" is defined as the percentage of amino acids that are identical or conserved between the two proteins. " Expectation value" estimates the statistical significance of the match, specifying the number of matches, with a given score, that are expected in a search of a database of this size absolutely by chance.

A large number of proteins were identified as sharing significant similarity to the Rhizobium trifolii malonyl-CoA synthetase (GenBank Accession No. AAC83455; SEQ ID NO:5). Table 3 provides a partial summary of those hits having an Expectation value equal to "0.0" and annotation that specifically identified the protein as a "malonyl-CoA synthetase", although this should not be considered as limiting to the disclosure herein. The proteins in Table 3 shared between 64% to 94% identity with SEQ ID NO:5.

Table 3: Some Publicl Available Genes Encodin Malon l-CoA S nthetase

.EXAMPLE 2

Synthesis Of A Codon-Optimized Malonyl-CoA Synthetase Gene Of Rhizobium lequminosarum bv. viciae 3841 For Yarrowia lipolytica The codon usage of the malonyl-CoA synthetase gene of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae 3841 was optimized for expression in Yarrowia lipolytica, in a manner similar to that described in U.S. Pat. No. 7,125,672.

Specifically, a codon-optimized malonyl-CoA synthetase gene (designated "MCS", SEQ ID NO:3) was designed based on the coding sequence of the malonyl-CoA synthetase gene from Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae 3841 ("rMCS"; SEQ ID NOs:1 and 2, corresponding to GenBank Accession No. YP_766603) according to the Yarrowia codon usage pattern (U.S. Pat. No. 7,125,672), the consensus sequence around the 'ATG' translation initiation codon, and the general rules of RNA stability (Guhaniyogi, G. and J. Brewer, Gene, 265(1 -2):11 -23 (2001 )). In addition to modification of the translation initiation site, 233 bp of the 1515 bp coding region (including the stop codon) were modified (15.4%; FIG. 1 ) and 219 codons were optimized (43.4%). The GC content was reduced from 61.4% within the wild type gene (i.e., rMCS) to 55.6% within the synthetic gene (i.e., MCS). The translation initiation codon 'ATG' was added in front of the rMCS gene (SEQ ID NO:1 ) since Yarrowia cannot use the 'GTG' codon for translation initiation. A Λ/col site and Not\ sites were incorporated around the translation initiation codon and after the stop codon of MCS, respectively. The codon-optimized MCS gene (SEQ ID NO:3) is 1518 bp encoding a peptide of 505 amino acids and a stop codon (SEQ ID NO:4). The designed MCS gene was synthesized by GenScript Corporation (Piscataway, NJ) and cloned into pUC57 (GenBank Accession No. Y14837) to generate pMCS (SEQ ID NO:6).

EXAMPLE 3 Generation Of Construct pZP2-MCS, Comprising The Synthetic Malonyl-CoA

Synthetase

Plasmid pZP2-MCS (FIG. 2) was constructed to enable expression of the synthetic, codon-optimized malonyl-CoA synthetase gene derived from Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae 3841 (Example 2) in the oleaginous yeast, Yarrowia lipolytica. The pZP2-MCS plasmid contained the following components listed in Table 4.

Table 4: Description of Plasmid pZP2-MCS (SEQ ID NO:7)

EXAMPLE 4 Effect Of Malonyl-CoA Synthetase Gene Expression On Malonates In

Yarrowia lipolytica Strain Y4305U

Plasmid pZP2-MCS was digested with Sph\ and Asc\. A 6.4 kB linear fragment containing the MCS gene under the control of the FBAIN promoter and the Y. lipolytica URA3 gene, flanked by the 5' and 3' region of the Y. lipolytica POX2 gene, was separated by agarose gel electrophoresis and purified with a Qiagen gel purification kit according to the manufacturer's protocol. The purified DNA fragment was used to transform the Ura3- strain of Y4305, Y4305U (General Methods), using standard transformation procedures.

Three Ura+ transformants were tested for lipid content, fatty acid profile and malonate production; strain Y4305 was also analyzed similarly as a control. Briefly, cells were grown for 48 hrs in 25 ml_ of FM medium in a 125 ml_ flask. Each culture (5 ml_) was centhfuged to collect cells. Cells from each culture were resuspended in 25 ml_ HGM medium and allowed to grow for 5 more days at 30 ° C and 250 rpm. Fatty acid profile and total lipid content were determined as described in the General Methods. To analyze the concentration of malonates in the culture supernatant by ion chromatography, samples were prepared as follows. 1 ml_ of a culture medium sample was centrifuged at 13,000 rpm for 10 min. Supernatant was collected. Supernatant (0.5 ml_) was then put into a PALL nanosep MF 0.2 μ m (PALL Corporation, East Hills, NY; Cat. No. P/N ODM02C35) spin tube and the tube was placed in a microfuge and spun at 13,000 rpm for 15 min. The filtrate was then diluted with nano-pure water to achieve a concentration between 0.001 g/L to 0.250 g/L. The analytical vials used for the analysis were Agilent Technologies (Palo Alto, CA) screw cap vials (Cat. No. P/N 5182-0715).

Concentration of malonates was determined by ion chromatography with a Dionex DX600 System and a ThermoFinnigan MSQ Mass Spectrometer. System details, provided by Dionex Corporation (Sunnyvale, CA), are as follows: lonPac AG11 -HC 2 x 50 mm Guard Column, Cat. No. P/N 052963; lonPac AS11 -HC 2 x 250 mm Analytical Column, Cat. No. P/N 052961 ; ASRS Ultra-ll 2 mm Self-Regenerating Suppressor, Cat. No. P/N 061562; Chromeleon Control software, version 6.80. The method used two detectors in series for both conductivity and mass analysis of the compounds of interest. A gradient concentration of mobile phase, i.e., KOH, was applied over the total run time to separate a variety of organic acids. The gradient was typically 0.5 mM to 60 mM KOH over 64 min to achieve good peak separation and resolution for all the organic acids and inorganic anions. The conductivity detector quantitatively determined the compound based on a standard calibration curve developed from external standards. The mass spec was used in both the Total Ion Current ["TIC"] and Selective Ion Monitoring ["SIM"] modes for detecting and identifying each compound and in some cases for quantifying compounds that co-eluted and that could not be resolved by conductivity.

Malonates elute at 28.49 min. Quantitation was done by comparing peak area with that of known amounts of malonate standard (Fluka, Aigma- Aldrich, Switzerland). Total lipid (TFAs % DCW), EPA as a % of TFAs, and EPA as a % of DCW for each strain are shown below in Table 5, in addition to the concentration of malonates in each culture. The average fatty acid composition and average malonate concentration of Y. lipolytica Y4305 control strains and Y4305U strains expressing the codon-optimized malonyl- CoA synthetase are highlighted in bold text.

More specifically, the term "total fatty acids" ["TFAs"] herein refer to the sum of all cellular fatty acids that can be derivitized to fatty acid methyl esters ["FAMEs"] by the base transestehfication method (as known in the art) in a given sample, which may be the biomass or oil, for example. Thus, total fatty acids include fatty acids from neutral lipid fractions (including diacylglycerols, monoacylglycerols and TAGs) and from polar lipid fractions (including the phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine fractions) but not free fatty acids.

The term "total lipid content" of cells is a measure of TFAs as a percent of the dry cell weight ["DCW"], although total lipid content can be approximated as a measure of FAMEs as a percent of the DCW ["FAMEs % DCW"]. Thus, total lipid content ["TFAs % DCW"] is equivalent to, e.g., milligrams of total fatty acids per 100 milligrams of DCW.

The concentration of a fatty acid in the total lipid is expressed herein as a weight percent of TFAs ["% TFAs"], e.g., milligrams of the given fatty acid per 100 milligrams of TFAs. Unless otherwise specifically stated in the disclosure herein, reference to the percent of a given fatty acid with respect to total lipids is equivalent to concentration of the fatty acid as % TFAs (e.g., % EPA of total lipids is equivalent to EPA % TFAs).

In some cases, it is useful to express the content of a given fatty acid(s) in a cell as its weight percent of the dry cell weight ["% DCW"]. Thus, for example, eicosapentaenoic acid % DCW would be determined according to the following formula: [(eicosapentaenoic acid % TFAs) * (TFAs % DCW)]/100. The content of a given fatty acid(s) in a cell as its weight percent of the dry cell weight ["% DCW"] can be approximated, however, as: [(eicosapentaenoic acid % TFAs) * (FAMEs % DCW)]/100.

Table 5: Concentration Of Malonates In Transformant Yarrowia lipolytica

Strain Y4305U

As shown in Table 5, the pZP2-MCS transformants (identified as Y4305U-MCS-1 , Y4305U-MCS-2 and Y4305U-MCS-3) all showed markedly lower levels of malonates in the culture supernatant, as compared to the level of malonates in the duplicate cultures of strain Y4305. The profile of fatty acids and the yield of total lipids are similar to the control Y4305 cells. Expression of the malonyl-CoA synthetase, i.e., SEQ ID NO:3, lowered the total amount of malonates (g/g DCW) -94% without impacting either the fatty acid profile or the total lipid yield as a % DCW.