Single Cell Oil project

Norwegian Research Council - BIONÆR Grant

Project number: 234258/E50
Period covered - start date: 2014
Period covered - end date: 2016
Project's coordinator: NutraQ 
NMBU contract: Achim Kohler


Project partners: 
Bama AS
Norilia AS
King Oscar AS
Nofima AS


In order to utilize fungal production of rest materials from food industry in Norway, there is a need of research to

1. Establish processes that transform the existing rest materials into suitable fermentation media

2. Screen fungal strains in order to identify strains that optimize PUFA production in industrial processes

3. Optimize lipid extraction and purification process on both lab and industrial scale

This requires extensive screening studies involving hundreds of fungal strains and high numbers of test fermentations, and, not least, analytical tools for monitoring the production of PUFAs. Recently, we together with several partners developed a fully automated system by which several hundred fermentations (up to 1584 fermentations) can be performed in parallel and by which PUFA production can be monitored by FTIR spectroscopy in each single fermentation. Thus, by this system large numbers of conditions can be screened allowing an effective optimization of single cell oil processes. This fully automated system for monitoring PUFA in high-throughput cultivation is unique world-wide and provides a clear advantage for the Norwegian industry in the development of such biotechnological industrial processes.



Kosa G., Zimmermann B., Kohler A., Ekeberg D., Afseth N.K., Mounier J., Shapaval V.
High-throughput screening of Mucoromycota fungi for production of low- and high value lipids.
Biotechnology for Biofuels 11:66 (2018)

Tzimorotas D., Afseth N. K., Lindberg D., Kjørlaug O., Axelsson L., Shapaval V.
Pretreatment of different food rest materials for bioconversion into fungal lipid-rich biomass.
Journal of Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering 41 (2018) 1039.

Kosa G., Vuoristo K., Horn S.J., Zimmermann B., Afseth N.K., Kohler A., Shapaval V.
Assessment of the scalability of a microtiter plate system for screening of oleaginous microorganisms.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 102 (2018) 4915.

Kosa G., Shapaval V., Kohler A., Zimmermann B.
FTIR spectroscopy as a unified method for simultaneous analysis of intra- and extracellular metabolites in high-throughput screening of microbial bioprocesses.
Microbial Cell Factories 16:195 (2017).

Forfang, K., Zimmermann B., Kosa, G. Kohler A., Shapaval V. 
FTIR spectroscopy for evaluation and monitoring of lipid extraction efficiency for oleaginous fungi. 
PLOS One 12 (2017) e0170611.

Kosa G., Kohler A., Tafintseva V., Zimmermann B., Forfang K., Afseth N.K., Tzimorotas D., Vuoristo K.S., Horn S.J., Mounier J., Shapaval V. 
Microtiter plate cultivation of oleaginous fungi and monitoring of lipogenesis by high-throughput FTIR spectroscopy.
Microbial Cell Factories 16:101 (2017).

Published 24. February 2016 - 8:46 - Updated 4. May 2020 - 11:20