Coculturing of Mucor plumbeus and Bacillus subtilis bacterium as an efficient fermentation strategy to enhance fungal lipid and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) production

Sci Rep. 2022 Jul 30;12(1):13111. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-17442-2.


This study aimed to improve lipid and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) production of an oleaginous fungus, Mucor plumbeus, through coculturing with Bacillus subtilis bacteria, optimising the environmental and nutritional culture conditions, and scaling them for batch fermentation. The maximum levels of biomass, lipid, fatty acid, and GLA in a 5 L bioreactor containing cellobiose and ammonium sulfate as the optimal carbon and nitrogen sources, respectively, achieved during the coculturing processes were 14.5 ± 0.4 g/L, 41.5 ± 1.3, 24 ± 0.8, and 20 ± 0.5%, respectively. This strategy uses cellobiose in place of glucose, decreasing production costs. The nutritional and abiotic factor results suggest that the highest production efficiency is achieved at 6.5 pH, 30 °C temperature, 10% (v/v) inoculum composition, 200 rpm agitation speed, and a 5-day incubation period. Interestingly, the GLA concentration of cocultures (20.0 ± 0.5%) was twofold higher than that of monocultures (8.27 ± 0.11%). More importantly, the GC chromatograms of cocultures indicated the presence of one additional peak corresponding to decanoic acid (5.32 ± 0.20%) that is absent in monocultures, indicating activation of silent gene clusters via cocultivation with bacteria. This study is the first to show that coculturing of Mucor plumbeus with Bacillus subtilis is a promising strategy with industrialisation potential for the production of GLA-rich microbial lipids and prospective biosynthesis of new products.

PMID:35908106 | PMC:PMC9338991 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-17442-2


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