[en] The non-conventional yeast Yarrowia lipolytica produces an extracellular lipase encoded by the LIP2 gene. Mutant strains with enhanced productivity were previously obtained either by chemical mutagenesis or genetic engineering. In this work, we used one of these mutants, named LgX64.81 to select new overproducing strains following by amplification of the LIP2 gene. We also developed a process for lipase production in bioreactors and compared lipase production levels in batch and fed-batch cultures. Batch culture led to a lipase production of 26 450 U ml(-1) in a media containing olive oil and tryptone as carbon and nitrogen sources. Feeding of a combination of tryptone and olive oil at the end of the exponential growth phase yielded to lipase activity of 158 246 U ml(-1) after 80 h of cultivation. In addition this production system developed for the extracellular lipase could also be applied for other heterologous protein production since we have demonstrated that LgX64.81 is an interesting alternative host strain. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.