Carotenoid prodn. by microorganisms, as opposed to chem. synthesis, could fulfill an ever-increasing demand for 'all natural' products. The yeast Phaffia rhodozyma has received considerable attention because it produces the red pigment astaxanthin, commonly used as an animal feed supplement. In order to have a better understanding of its metab., labeling expts. with [1-13C]glucose were conducted with the wildtype strain (CBS5905 T) and a hyper-producing carotenoid strain (J4-3) in order to det. their metabolic network structure and est. intracellular fluxes. Amino acid labeling patterns, as detd. by GC-MS, were in accordance with a metabolic network consisting of the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway, the pentose phosphate pathway, and the TCA cycle. Glucose was mainly consumed along the pentose phosphate pathway (.apprx.65% for wildtype strain), which reflected high NADPH requirements for lipid biosynthesis. Although common to other oleaginous yeast, there was no, or very little, malic enzyme activity for carbon-limited growth. In addn., there was no evidence of phosphoketolase activity. The central carbon metab. of the mutant strain was similar to that of the wildtype strain, though the relative pentose phosphate flux was lower and the TCA cycle flux in accordance with the biomass yield being lower. [on SciFinder (R)]