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Published 14.03.2018

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Publication details

Journal : Biotechnology for Biofuels , vol. 11 , p. 17 , Wednesday 14. March 2018

Publisher : BioMed Central (BMC)

International Standard Numbers :
Printed : 1754-6834
Electronic : 1754-6834

Publication type : Academic article

Contributors : Kosa, Gergely; Zimmermann, Boris; Kohler, Achim; Ekeberg, Dag; Afseth, Nils Kristian; Mounier, Jerome; Shapaval, Volha

Issue : 66

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Kjetil Aune
Chief Librarian


Background: Mucoromycota fungi are important producers of low- and high-value lipids. Mortierella alpina is used
for arachidonic acid production at industrial scale. In addition, oleaginous Mucoromycota fungi are promising candidates
for biodiesel production. A critical step in the development of such biotechnological applications is the selection
of suitable strains for lipid production. The aim of the present study was to use the Duetz-microtiter plate system
combined with Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy for high-throughput screening of the potential of 100
Mucoromycota strains to produce low- and high-value lipids.
Results: With this reproducible, high-throughput method, we found several promising strains for high-value
omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and biodiesel production purposes. Gamma-linolenic acid content was
the highest in Mucor fragilis UBOCC-A-109196 (24.5% of total fatty acids), and Cunninghamella echinulata VKM F-470
(24.0%). For the first time, we observed concomitant gamma-linolenic acid and alpha-linolenic acid (up to 13.0%)
production in psychrophilic Mucor flavus strains. Arachidonic acid was present the highest amount in M. alpina ATCC
32222 (41.1% of total fatty acids). Low cultivation temperature (15 °C) activated the temperature sensitive Δ17 desaturase
enzyme in Mortierella spp., resulting in eicosapentaenoic acid production with up to 11.0% of total fatty acids in
M. humilis VKM F-1494. Cunninghamella blakesleeana CCM-705, Umbelopsis vinacea CCM F-539 and UBOCC-A-101347
showed very good growth (23–26 g/L) and lipid production (7.0–8.3 g/L) with high palmitic and oleic acid, and low
PUFA content, which makes them attractive candidates for biodiesel production. Absidia glauca CCM 451 had the
highest total lipid content (47.2% of biomass) of all tested strains. We also demonstrated the potential of FTIR spectroscopy
for high-throughput screening of total lipid content of oleaginous fungi.
Conclusions: The use of Duetz-microtiter plate system combined with FTIR spectroscopy and multivariate analysis,
is a feasible approach for high-throughput screening of lipid production in Mucoromycota fungi. Several promising
strains have been identified by this method for the production of high-value PUFA and biodiesel.