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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2006 May;70(5):1154-9.

Effects of the principal nutrients on lovastatin production by Monascus pilosus.

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Industrial Technology Center of Okayama Prefecture, Japan.


Lovastatin production is dependent on the substrates provided. We investigated how several carbon and nitrogen sources in the medium affect lovastatin production by Monascus pilosus. M. pilosus required a suitable concentration of organic nitrogen peptone for high lovastatin production. As sole carbon source with peptone, although glucose strongly repressed lovastatin production, maltose was responsible for high production. Interestingly, glycerol combined with maltose enhanced lovastatin production, up to 444 mg/l in the most effective case. Moreover, an isolated mutant, in which glucose repression might be relieved, easily produced the highest level of lovastatin, 725 mg/l on glucose-glycerol-peptone medium. These observations indicate that lovastatin production by M. pilosus is regulated by strict glucose repression and that an appropriate release from this repression by optimizing medium composition and/or by a mutation(s) is required for high lovastatin production.

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