Rhodotorula genus, amended in 2015, is polyphyletic and contains Rhodotorula species that grow as single-cell yeast (monomorphic) and reproduce asexually via budding/fission (anamorphic); it also contains Rhodosporidium species that reproduce sexually (teleomorphic) and alternate between a yeast phase and dikaryotic filamentous phase (dimorphic). Several species of these “red yeast” produce industrial bioproducts, namely biofuel feedstocks, carotenoids, enzymes, and biosurfactants. This chapter highlights the biotechnology areas that Rhodotorula/Rhodosporidium contributes to and the future market value of those industries. The primary yeast species to be discussed include Rhodosporidium toruloides, Rhodotorula glutinis, Rhodosporidium diobovatum, Rhodosporidium kratochvilovae, Rhodotorula graminis, Rhodotorula babjevae, and Rhodotorula taiwanensis.
Part of the book: Yeasts in Biotechnology