Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 101, Issue 8, pp 3121–3130 | Cite as

Production of water-soluble yellow pigments via high glucose stress fermentation of Monascus ruber CGMCC 10910

  • Meihua Wang
  • Tao Huang
  • Gong Chen
  • Zhenqiang WuEmail author
Biotechnological products and process engineering


Monascus pigments are secondary metabolites of Monascus species and are mainly composed of yellow pigments, orange pigments and red pigments. In this study, a larger proportion of Monascus yellow pigments could be obtained through the selection of the carbon source. Hydrophilic yellow pigments can be largely produced extracellularly by Monascus ruber CGMCC 10910 under conditions of high glucose fermentation with low oxidoreduction potential (ORP). However, keeping high glucose levels later in the culture causes translation or a reduction of yellow pigment. We presume that the mechanism behind this phenomenon may be attributed to the redox level of the culture broth and the high glucose stress reaction of M. ruber CGMCC 10910 during high glucose fermentation. These yellow pigments were produced via high glucose bio-fermentation without citrinin. Therefore, these pigments can act as natural pigments for applications as food additives.


Water-soluble yellow pigment Monascus ruber ORP High glucose stress 


Compliance with ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


This study were funded by the financial support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.: 31271925), the Special Project on the Integration of Industry, Education and Research of Guangdong Province, China (No.: 2013B090600015) and the Science and Technology Program of Guangzhou, China (No.: 2014J4100192).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meihua Wang
    • 1
  • Tao Huang
    • 1
  • Gong Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhenqiang Wu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Bioscience and BioengineeringSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Dongguan Tianyi Biotech. Co. Ltd.DongguanChina

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