Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 19, pp 7883–7889 | Cite as

Categories and biomanufacturing methods of glucosamine

  • Qinyuan Ma
  • Xiuzhen GaoEmail author


Glucosamine (GlcN) is an amine sugar, in which a hydroxyl group of glucose is replaced with an amino group. It is an important part of the polysaccharides chitin and chitosan and is highly hydrophilic. It is also an important compound required for the formation of cartilage cells and represents one of the elementary units of the cartilage matrix and joint fluid. GlcN has been widely used in food, cosmetics, health care, and pharmaceutical industries. This paper fully addresses the categories and biomanufacturing methods of GlcN, including its production by fermentation with wild-type as well as engineered microorganisms and enzymatic catalysis with a series of chitinolytic enzymes. However, GlcN is usually produced from glucose by fermentation in a coupled manner with N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc). Enzymatic catalysis is thus a specific pathway for production of GlcN where chitin can be directly hydrolyzed to GlcN. In industry, GlcN produced with fungal mycelium as raw materials (plant GlcN) is thought as a high-end product because of vegetarian and non-transgenosis. In our opinion, more studies should be performed in order to develop a competitive enzymatic pathway using Aspergillus niger mycelium for the preparation of high-end GlcN.


Glucosamine Chitin Mycelium Fermentation Enzymatic catalysis High-end product 


Funding information

This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 21402109).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict 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.School of Life ScienceShandong University of TechnologyZiboChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Industrial Fermentation Microbiology (Tianjin University of Science & Technology), Ministry of Education; Tianjin Key Lab of Industrial Microbiology, College of BiotechnologyTianjin University of Science and TechnologyTianjinChina

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