Enhanced lipid production by addition of malic acid

In there previous work, they reported a novel approach for increasing lipid production in an oleaginous fungus Mucor circinelloides by overexpression of mitochondrial malate transporter protein. This transporter plays a vital role in fatty acid biosynthesis during malate and citrate transport systems in oleaginous fungi. In this study, the controlling metabolic supplementation strategy was used to improve the lipid production by overexpression of malate transporter protein in M. circinelloides strain coded as Mc-MT-2. The effects of different metabolic intermediates on lipid production in batch fermentation by Mc-MT-2 were investigated. The optimal lipid production was obtained at 0.8% malic acid after 24 h of fermentation.

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Fig: Comparison of cell growth (A) and lipid production (B) of Mc-MT-2 in batch cultures containing different intermediates. 

Furthermore, in fed-batch bioreactors containing glucose as a carbon source supplemented with malic acid, the highest cell growth, and lipid production were achieved. The resulting strain showed the fungal dry biomass of 16 g/L, a lipid content of 32%, lipid yield of 5.12 g/L in a controlled bench-top bioreactor, with 1.60-, 1.60- and 2.56-fold improvement, respectively, compared with the batch control without supplementation of malic acid. Our findings revealed that the addition of malic acid during fermentation might play an important role in lipid accumulation in the recombinant M. circinelloides Mc-MT-2. This study provides valuable insights for enhanced microbial lipid production through metabolic supplementation strategy in large scale and industrial applications.

Zhang, Y., Liu, Q., Li, P. et al. Enhanced lipid production by addition of malic acid in fermentation of recombinant Mucor circinelloides Mc-MT-2. Sci Rep 11, 12674 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-92324-7

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