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Progress of arachidonic acid biosynthesis in microorganisms
Date:5/28/2012

electrical potentials, into cells of Mortierella alpine, the fungus naturally synthesizing PUFA. Implanted ions resulted in genetic mutations. They firstly screened for mutant cells producing high levels of total fatty acids, presumably resulting from mutations in genes controlling palmitic acid synthesis from acetyl CoA. In the second stage, established mutant strains from the first stage were mutated again by ion implantation and strains accumulating AA, among various kinds of fatty acids, were screened for. Such two-stage protocol was repeated until a genetically stable, AA-rich strain was obtained. Its AA yield was nearly 20 times of that of the original non-mutated strain, showing prospect of industrial application. The strain was transferred to manufacturer and a production line was thereafter constructed in Wuhan, by which fermentation control study was initiated.

Fermentation control normally involves optimization of culture media and growth condition, to reach a comprehensive and balanced nutrition supply for cell metabolism. To be used as diet supplement for infants, safety is the most critical issue therefore a simple media formulation guaranteeing minimum substrate residue was desired. Researchers tested the possibility of recycling the fungi residue after oil extraction into culture media. The "waste utilization" simplified culture media from 7 ingredients to just 2, glucose and the fungi residue, therefore reduced manufacturing costs. Data from 11 batches of fermentation in 200 m3 reactor with the minimum substrates showed that, the new strain reached an average biomass of 35.8 g/L (dry fungi cells/fermentation liquid), oil and AA contents of 18.4 g/L and 8.97 g/L respectively. This result attracted attention from more researchers.

Z. Cohen and C. Ratledge commented in their compilation "Single Cell Oils" that, "Alternative microbial sources of AA are also being sought. Already it is known there is a process for AA production in China,
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Contact: Feng Huiyun
zlyu@ipp.ac.cn
Science in China Press
Source:Eurekalert

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