, Volume 69, Issue 3, pp 161-166

Influence of trace elements and nitrogen sources on versicolorin production by a mutant strain of Aspergillus parasiticus

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A mutant strain of Aspergillus parasiticus blocked in aflatoxin biosynthesis accumulates versicolorin A and versicolorin C. The effect of trace elements on the growth and versicolorin production by this strain was studied in a defined medium. The omission of manganese was slightly stimulatory to versicolorin production; when zinc was omitted from the medium, no detectable versicolorins were produced. Experiments on nitrogen sources in a highsucrose medium indicated that fourfold to fivefold increases in versicolorin yields could be obtained by substituting 3 ml/l corn steep liquor or 0.1 M NH4NO3 for the 0.023 M (NH4)2SO3 used previously as the nitrogen source in studies on versicolorin production by this strain. These improved yields will facilitate attempts to accumulate enough versicolorin A and versicolorin C for toxicity and carcinogenicity testing. Chromatographic profiles of mycelial extracts of cultures grown in a defined medium with 0.1 M NH4NO3 as the nitrogen source revealed 2 previously unrecognized compounds. The accumulation of these new metabolites in a mutant blocked in aflatoxin production may indicate that they are biosynthetically related to aflatoxin.