Alternative Carbon Sources from Sugar Cane Process for Submerged Cultivation of Cunninghamella bertholletiae to Produce Chitosan

Rosa Valéria da Silva Amorim1,2*, Rodrigo Pinto Pedrosa2, Kazutaka Fukushima3, Cosme Rafael Martínez1,2, William MacDonald Ledingham2 and Galba Maria de Campos-Takaki4

Departamento de Biologia Molecular/Centro de Ciências Exata e da Natureza – CCEN, Universidade Federal da Paraíba – UFPB, Campus I – Cidade Universitária, 58.051-900, João Pessoa, PB, Brazil

2Laboratório de Imunopatologia Keizo Asami – LIKA, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco – UFPE, Recife, PE, Brazil
3Research Center for Pathogenic Fungi and Microbial Toxicoses, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
4Núcleo de Pesquisas em Ciências Ambientais, Universidade Católica de Pernambuco – UNICAP, Recife, PE, Brazil

Article history:

Received November 7, 2005
Accepted December 14, 2005

Key words:

chitosan, Cunninghamella bertholletiae, submerged culture, sugar cane juice, molasses


A mucoralean strain of Cunninghamella bertholletiae was used to evaluate the influence of culture medium on chitosan production. In the traditional medium for the growth of mucoralean strains, constituted of yeast extract, peptone, and D-glucose as carbon source, the highest chitosan yield found was 55 mg/g of dry mycelia in a 72-hour submerged culture. Regional substrates from sugar cane process in Northeast Brazil, as sugar cane juice and molasses, which were supplemented with 0.3 % yeast extract, were used as economic substrates to produce chitosan. The optimal production of chitosan was found in sugar cane juice medium, yielding 128 mg/g of dry mycelia in batch flasks at 28 °C. This condition did not need high concentration of sugar cane and gave a good yield of chitosan produced within 48 h (580 mg per L of medium). Molasses did not show to be a good carbon source for chitosan production.


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