Production of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids by Mucor recurvus sp. with Sugarcane Molasses as the Carbon Source

Nan Li1, Zhi-Nian Deng2, Yong-Ling Qin1, Chun-Lan Chen1 and Zhi-Qun Liang1*

1College of Life Science and Technology, Guangxi University, Nanning, CN-530004 Guangxi, PR China

2Key Laboratory for Crop Genetic Improvement and Biotechnology, Guangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanning, CN-530007 Guangxi, PR China

Article history:

Received January 12, 2007
Accepted September 27, 2007

Key words:

Mucor recurvus sp., polyunsaturated fatty acids, sugarcane molasses, fermentation, cultivation condition, fatty acid analysis


Sugarcane molasses is rich in nutriments and vitamins. It may be used as the carbon source for the production of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) by Mucor recurvus sp. Using sugarcane molasses, the effects of fermentation parameters and media components on polyunsaturated fatty acid production through both linear and orthogonal array experiments were investigated. The best fermentation conditions for PUFA production were found as follows: 15 % sugarcane molasses, pH=6.0, 28 °C, 5 days, 160 rpm. It was also found that molasses and urea enhanced PUFA production with the optimal carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratio of 35. Under the most favourable conditions, the total lipid content at 7.13 g/L and PUFA up to 5.74 g/L including (0.82±0.05) g/L of linolenic acid (LA), (1.35±0.02) g/L of γ-linolenic acid (GLA), (0.17±0.06) g/L of α-linolenic acid (ALA), (0.57±0.06) g/L of arachidonic acid (ARA), (0.46±0.07) g/L of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and (0.34±0.08) g/L of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were obtained. Our study suggests that sugarcane molasses is a superior alternative carbon source for industrial PUFA production.


*Corresponding author: 
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