Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 13, pp 5301–5310 | Cite as

Effects of glutamic acid on the production of monacolin K in four high-yield monacolin K strains in Monascus

  • Chan Zhang
  • Shiyuan Chai
  • Shuai Hao
  • Anan Zhang
  • Qianqian Zhu
  • Han Zhang
  • Chengtao WangEmail author
Applied genetics and molecular biotechnology


Monascus purpureus is a traditional Chinese microbe that can be used as a medicinal herb and is edible. To improve the yield of monacolin K, we optimized the medium of M. purpureus with high-yield monacolin K strains. When high-yield strains C8, D8, E3, and I1 were grown in glutamic medium instead of the original medium, monacolin K production was increased. Among these strains, C8 exhibited the highest monacolin K production in glutamic acid medium, with levels increased 4.80-fold. RT-qPCR demonstrated that glutamic acid enhanced the expression of mokC and mokG. Observation of Monascus mycelium morphology using SEM showed that mycelia exhibited more folds, swelling, curves, and fractures. Thus, glutamic acid may promote the growth of the mycelium and appeared to increase the permeability of the cell membrane. This lays a foundation for research on the regulatory effect of glutamic acid and provides a theoretical basis for the industrialization and commercialization of Monascus.


Monascus purpureus MonacolinK Glutamic acid RT-qPCR 



This study was funded by Beijing Nova Program (Grant No. Z181100006218021), Beijing Natural Science Foundation (Grant No. KZ201810011015), Support Project of High-level Teachers in Beijing Municipal Universities in the Period of 13th Five-year Plan (Grant No. CIT&TCD201804023), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31301411, 31571801, and 31401669), National Key Research and Development Program (Grant No. 2016YFD0400802, 2016YFD0400502–02), the construct of innovation service ability—Science and technology achievement transformation—Upgrade project (Grant No. PXM 2016-014213-000034), Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Project (Grant No. Z171100002217019), and Beijing Excellent Talents Training Project (Grant No. 2016000020124G025).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Food Nutrition and Human HealthBeijing Technology & Business University (BTBU)BeijingChina
  2. 2.Beijing Engineering and Technology Research Center of Food AdditivesBeijing Technology & Business University (BTBU)BeijingChina

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