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Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2011 Oct;165(3-4):913-25. doi: 10.1007/s12010-011-9308-x. Epub 2011 Jun 28.

Induction of a high-yield lovastatin mutant of Aspergillus terreus by ¹²C⁶⁺ heavy-ion beam irradiation and the influence of culture conditions on lovastatin production under submerged fermentation.

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  • 1School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Lanzhou Jiaotong University, 88 West Anning Road, Lanzhou, 730070 Gansu Province, People's Republic of China.


Heavy-ion beams, possessing a wide mutation spectrum and increased mutation frequency, have been used effectively as a breeding method. In this study, the heavy-ion beams generated by the Heavy-Ion Research Facility in Lanzhou were used to mutagenize Aspergillus terreus CA99 for screening high-yield lovastatin strains. Furthermore, the main growth conditions as well as the influences of carbon and nitrogen sources on the growth and the lovastatin production of the mutant and the original strains were investigated comparatively. The spores of A. terreus CA99 were irradiated by 15, 20, 25, and 30 Gy of 80 MeV/u (12)C(6+) heavy-ion beams. Based on the lovastatin contents in the fermentation broth, a strain designated as A. terreus Z15-7 has been selected from the clone irradiated by the heavy-ion beam. When compared with the original strain, the content of lovastatin in the fermentation broth of A. terreus Z15-7 increased 4-fold. Moreover, A. terreus Z15-7 efficiently used the carbon and nitrogen sources for the growth and production of lovastatin when compared to the original strain. The maximum yield of lovastatin, 916.7 μg/ml, was obtained as A. terreus Z15-7 was submerged cultured in the chemically defined medium supplemented with 3% glycerol as a carbon source, 1% corn meal as an organic nitrogen source, and 0.2% sodium nitrate as an inorganic nitrogen source at 30 °C in the shake flask. The result shows that heavy-ion beam irradiation is an effective method for the mutation breeding of lovastatin production of A. terreus.

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