Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.105, No.16-17, 6275-6289, 2021
Advances in improving the biotechnological application of oleaginous fungus Mortierella alpina
Mortierella alpina is an oleaginous filamentous fungus with considerable lipid productivity, and it has been widely used for industrial production of arachidonic acid. The fermentation process of M. alpina is complicated and can be affected by various factors; therefore, a comprehensive knowledge of its metabolic characteristics and key factors governing lipid biosynthesis is required to further improve its industrial performance. In this review, we discuss the metabolic features and extracellular factors that affect lipid biosynthesis in M. alpina. The current progress in fermentation optimisation and metabolic engineering to improve lipid yield are also summarised. Moreover, we review the applications of M. alpina in the food industry and propose fermentation strategies for better utilisation of this genus in the future. In our opinion, the economic performance of M. alpina should be enhanced from multiple levels, including strains with ideal traits, efficient fermentation strategies, controllable fermentation costs, and competitive products of both high value and productivity. By reviewing the peculiarities of M. alpina and current progress to improve its suitability for biotechnological production, we wish to provide more efficient strategies for future development of M. alpina as a high-value lipid cell factory.