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Molecules. 2010 Oct 8;15(10):6931-40. doi: 10.3390/molecules15106931.

Prodigiosin production by Serratia marcescens UCP 1549 using renewable-resources as a low cost substrate.

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Doutorado da Rede Nordeste de Biotecnologia (RENORBIO)-Universidade Católica de Pernambuco (UNICAP) Recife, PE, Brazil.


A new strain of Serratia marcescens UCP1459 isolated from a semi-arid soil produced the natural red pigment prodigiosin, characterized by an uncommon pyrrolylpyrromethane skeleton. Prodigiosin is a promising drug due to its reported antifungal, immunosuppressive and anti-proliferative activities. The objective of this work was to indentify a suitable medium to simultaneously enhance S. marcescens growth and pigment production using renewable resources obtained from industrial wastes. S. marcescens produced the highest level of prodigiosin (49.5 g/L) at 48 h of cultivation using 6% "manipueira" (cassava wastewater) supplemented with mannitol (2%) at pH 7 and 28 °C. Carbohydrates in "manipueira" and mannitol play a role in the enhanced cell growth and prodigiosin production. The purified pigment extracted from the biomass was analyzed by mass spectrophotometry and showed the expected molecular weight of 324 Da corresponding to prodigiosin. In conclusion, we have successfully designed a new, economically feasible medium supporting enhanced S. marcescens growth and a high yield production of prodigiosin.

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