The effect of acetic acid concentration on the growth and production of gamma-linolenic acid byMucor circinelloides CBS 203.28 in fed-batch culture

  • J. C. du Preez
  • M. Immelman
  • J. L. F. Kock
  • S. G. Kilian


The effect of different initial acetic acid concentrations on the growth of and lipid and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) production byMucor circinelloides CBS 203.28 was determined in a 14 litre stirred tank reactor operated in a fedbatch, pH-stat mode with acetic acid as carbon source and pH titrant. Increased acetic acid concentrations in the culture resulted in a significant increase in the crude oil content of the biomass. By contrast, all the other parameters such as the biomass concentration, GLA and oil yield on acetic acid, the GLA content of the biomass and oil, the growth rate and volumetric rate of GLA production decreased with an increase in acetic acid concentration. The best results were obtained with acetic acid at 2 g/1, which gave 39.8 mg GLA/g biomass and 15.6% GLA in the neutral lipid fraction, amounting to 340 mg GLA/1 culture. A decrease in the glyco- and phospho-lipid fractions during the cultivation coincided with an increase in the neutral lipid fraction. The GLA content of the biomass remained within rather narrow limits of 3.5% to 4% of the biomass, irrespective of the oil content of the biomass. The fatty acid profile was not greatly affected by the acetic acid concentration. The hyphae of the fungus were characterized by the accumulation of large intracellular oil droplets and some septa delimited the hyphae.

Key words

acetic acid fatty acids fed-batch gamma-linolenic acid lipids Mucor circinelloides 


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Copyright information

© Rapid Science Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C. du Preez
    • 1
  • M. Immelman
    • 1
  • J. L. F. Kock
    • 1
  • S. G. Kilian
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry/Sasol Centre for BiotechnologyUniversity of the Orange Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa

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