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Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2013 Dec;171(7):1692-700. doi: 10.1007/s12010-013-0468-8. Epub 2013 Aug 31.

Enhanced lycopene content in Blakeslea trispora by effective mutation-screening method.

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The Key Laboratory of Industrial Biotechnology, Ministry of Education, and School of Biotechnology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, 214122, China.


The zygomycete fungus Blakeslea trispora is usually used as a natural source of lycopene and β-carotene. In this study, the B. trispora (-) strain, a major mating type for lycopene production, was treated with N(+) ion implantation and N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (NTG), and further isolated on the screening plates supplemented with lovastatin and crude extracts of trisporic acid (CTA). After several rounds of screening, four mutants with higher yield of lycopene and biomass were isolated. Among these mutants, I5 obtained with N(+) ion implantation showed a maximum lycopene yield (28.8 mg/g), which was 64 % higher than the parent strain (17.5 mg/g) in the production of lycopene. The results indicated that N(+) ion implantation is more suitable for B. trispora (-) than NTG treatment, and the addition of lovastatin promoted the generation of positive mutant and CTA amplified the color differences between colonies.

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