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Discovery of two novel oleaginous yeast species in soil from Shiga Prefecture—Potential applications for sustainable oil and fat production technology—

2023.10.02

Cultivating the hidden potential in Japan’s soil microorganisms and publishing the research findings in an international journal


A research group led by Professor Jun Shima and Professor Koichi Tanabe of the Faculty of Agriculture and Microbial Resource Center for Fermentation and Brewing at Ryukoku University discovered two novel oleaginous yeast species in soil from Shiga Prefecture and published the findings of their DNA analysis, physiological testing, and culture testing in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, available online.

[Presented Paper]

Title: Hannaella oleicumulans sp. nov. and Hannaella higashiohmiensis sp. nov., two novel oleaginous basidiomycetous yeast species

Authors: Ayumi Tanimura1, Hikaru Adachi2, Koichi Tanabe2,3, Jun Ogawa4, and Jun Shima2,3

Affiliations: 1 Program-Specific Assistant Professor, Office of Society Academia Collaboration for Innovation, Kyoto University, 2 Faculty of Agriculture, Ryukoku University, 3 Microbial Resource Center for Fermentation and Brewing, 4 Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University

Publishing Journal: International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology

DOI:10.1099/ijsem.0.006027

* Publication Date: September 20, 2023

Yeasts are a type of microorganism and some yeasts, called oleaginous yeasts, are able to transform sugars into fats and oils. Fat and oil production from yeast as biomass is an approach that shows promise in helping to mitigate the dangers of higher crude oil prices and crude oil depletion and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Of the two novel oleaginous yeast species that were discovered, Hannaella oleicumulans was named after its propensity to accumulate oil, and Hannaella higashiohmiensis was named after its place of discovery in Higashiomi City.

The findings of this research hint at the boundless potential in Japan’s microbial resources.

Please see this press release for further details.

Below are some remarks on these findings from Professor Jun Shima (Ryukoku University Faculty of Agriculture, Deputy Director of Microbial Resource Center for Fermentation and Brewing).

“Diligent work in the field by Hikaru Adachi, a graduate student at the Faculty of Agriculture, and dedicated analysis by Ayumi Tanimura, then a postdoctoral researcher at the Microbial Resource Center for Fermentation and Brewing, have borne fruit in these findings. Being the first report of a new species from our research group, we received multiple requests for corrections from the publishing journal, but are now relieved to see the journal accept our article. We are committed to discovering new microbial resources and using those resources to make positive contributions in the region.”

Professor Jun Shima (Ryukoku University Faculty of Agriculture, Deputy Director of Microbial Resource Center for Fermentation and Brewing: left of center in photo) and members of the laboratory