Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.105, No.18, 6691-6706, 2021
Sodium starch octenyl succinate facilitated the production of water-soluble yellow pigments in Monascus ruber fermentation
Natural water-soluble Monascus pigments (WSMPs) have been in increasing demand but have not been able to achieve industrial production due to the low production rate. This study aimed to improve the biosynthesis and secretion of extracellular yellow pigments (EYPs) through submerged fermentation with Monascus ruber CGMCC 10,910 supplemented with sodium starch octenyl succinate (OSA-SNa). The results demonstrated that the yield was 69.68% and 48.89% higher than that without OSA-SNa in conventional fermentation (CF) and extractive fermentation (EF), respectively. The mainly increased EYP components were Y3 and Y4 in CF, but they were mainly Y1 and Y2 as well as secreted intracellular pigments, including Y5, Y6, O1, and O2, in EF. Scanning electron microscopy analysis revealed that the mycelium presented an uneven surface profile with obvious wrinkles and small fragments with OSA-SNa. It was found that a higher unsaturated/saturated fatty acids ratio in the cell membrane resulted in increased permeability and facilitated the export of intracellular yellow pigments into the broth with OSA-SNa treatment. In addition, a higher NAD(+)/NADH ratio and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity provided a reducing condition for yellow pigment biosynthesis. Gene expression analysis showed that the expression levels of the key genes for yellow pigment biosynthesis were significantly upregulated by OSA-SNa. This study provides an effective strategy to promote the production of WSMPs by microparticle-enhanced cultivation using OSA-SNa.