Efficient production of red Monascus pigments with single non-natural amine residue by in situ chemical modification

  • Yaolin Huang
  • Lujie Liu
  • Gaowei Zheng
  • Xuehong Zhang
  • Zhilong WangEmail author
Original Paper


Filamentous fungi Monascus sp. has been utilized for fermentative production of food colorant (Red Yeast Rice) for more than 1000 years in China. The main colorant components of Red Yeast Rice are mixture of red Monascus pigments (RMPs) with various primary amine residues. In the present work, the non-natural primary amine p-aminobenzamide, exhibiting as non-involved in nitrogen microbial metabolism, nontoxicity to microbial cells, and chemical reactivity with orange Monascus pigments (OMPs), was screened. Based on the screened result, RMPs with the single p-aminobenzamide residue were produced by cell suspension culture in a nonionic surfactant micelle aqueous solution via in situ chemical modification of OMPs. Furthermore, in situ chemical modification of OMPs also provided a strategy for maintaining a relatively low OMP concentration and then efficient accumulation of high concentration of RMPs (3.3 g/l).


Cell suspension culture Nonionic surfactant In situ chemical modification Primary amine Monascus pigments 



This work was partially supported by Open Funding Project of the State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11274_2018_2585_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1300 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yaolin Huang
    • 1
  • Lujie Liu
    • 1
  • Gaowei Zheng
    • 2
  • Xuehong Zhang
    • 3
  • Zhilong Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Microbial Metabolism, and Engineering Research Center of Cell & Therapeutic Antibody, Ministry of Education, School of PharmacyShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor EngineeringEast China University of Science and TechnologyShanghaiChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Microbial Metabolism, School of Life Science and BiotechnologyShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina

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