The influence of phosphorus source and the nature of nitrogen substrate on the biomass production and lipid accumulation in oleaginous Mucoromycota fungi.

Research paper by Simona S Dzurendova, Boris B Zimmermann, Valeria V Tafintseva, Achim A Kohler, Dag D Ekeberg, Volha V Shapaval

Indexed on: 15 Aug '20Published on: 14 Aug '20Published in: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


Oleaginous filamentous fungi grown under the nitrogen limitation, accumulate high amounts of lipids in the form of triacylglycerides (TAGs) with fatty acid profiles similar to plant and fish oils. In this study, we investigate the effect of six phosphorus source concentrations combined with two types of nitrogen substrate (yeast extract and ammonium sulphate), on the biomass formation, lipid production, and fatty acid profile for nine oleaginous Mucoromycota fungi. The analysis of fatty acid profiles was performed by gas chromatography with flame ionization detector (GC-FID) and the lipid yield was estimated gravimetrically. Yeast extract could be used as both nitrogen and phosphorus source, without additional inorganic phosphorus supplementation. The use of inorganic nitrogen source (ammonium sulphate) requires strain-specific optimization of phosphorus source amount to obtain optimal lipid production regarding quantity and fatty acid profiles. Lipid production was decreased in ammonium sulphate-based media when phosphorus source was limited in all strains except for Rhizopus stolonifer. High phosphorus source concentration inhibited the growth of Mortierella fungi. The biomass (22 g/L) and lipid (14 g/L) yield of Umbelopsis vinacea was the highest among all the tested strains. KEY POINTS: • The strain specific P requirements of Mucoromycota depend on the nature of N source. • Yeast extract leads to consistent biomass and lipid yield and fatty acids profiles. • Umbelopsis vinacea showed the highest biomass (22 g/L) and lipid (14 g/L) yield. • High P source amounts inhibit the growth of Mortierella fungi.