Itaconic acid (IA; a building block platform chemical) is currently produced industrially from glucose by fermentation with Aspergillus terreus. In order to expand the use of IA, its production cost must be lowered. Lignocellulosic biomass has the potential to serve as low-cost source of sugars for IA production. It was found that the fungus cannot produce IA from dilute acid pretreated and enzymatically saccharified wheat straw hydrolysate even at 100-fold dilution. The effects of typical compounds (acetic acid, furfural, HMF and Mn2+, enzymes, CaSO4), culture conditions (initial pH, temperature, aeration), and medium components (KH2PO4, NH4NO3, CaCl2·2H2O, FeCl3·6H2O) on growth and IA production by A. terreus NRRL 1972 using mixed sugar substrate containing glucose, xylose, and arabinose (4:3:1, 80 g L−1) mimicking the wheat straw hydrolysate were investigated. Acetic acid, furfural, Mn2+, and enzymes were strong inhibitors to both growth and IA production from mixed sugars. Optimum culture conditions (pH 3.1, 33 °C, 200 rpm) and medium components (0.8 g KH2PO4, 3 g NH4NO3, 2.0 g CaCl2·2H2O, 0.83–3.33 mg FeCl3·6H2O per L) as well as tolerable levels of inhibitors (0.4 g acetic acid, < 0.1 g furfural, 100 mg HMF, < 5.0 ppb Mn2+, 24 mg CaSO4 per L) for mixed sugar utilization were established. The results will be highly useful for developing a bioprocess technology for IA production from lignocellulosic feedstocks.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
The authors thank James Swezey, microbiologist (retired), for supplying Aspergillus terreus NRRL 1972 from ARS Culture Collection, Peoria, IL, and Kim Ascherl for the metal analysis by ICP-OES.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Nubel, R. C., & Ratajak, E. J. (1962). Process for producing itaconic acid. US Patent, 3, 044,941.Google Scholar
Batti, M., & Schweiger, L. B. (1963). Process for the production of itaconic acid. US Patent, 3, 078,217.Google Scholar
Willke, T., & Vorlop, K.-D. (2001). Biotechnological production of itaconic acid. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 56(3-4), 289–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saha, B. C. (2017). Emerging biotechnologies for production of itaconic acid and its applications as a platform chemical. Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology, 44(2), 303–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Choi, S., Song, C. W., Shin, J. H., & Lee, S. Y. (2015). Biorefineries for the production of top building block chemicals and their derivatives. Metabolic Engineering, 28, 223–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Okabe, M., Lies, D., Kanamasa, S., & Park, E. Y. (2009). Biotechnological production of itaconic acid and its biosynthesis in Aspergillus terreus. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 84(4), 597–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Klement, T., & Büchs, J. (2013). Itaconic acid—a biotechnological process in change. Bioresource Technology, 135, 422–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tippkötter, N., Duwe, A.-N., Wiesen, S., Sieker, T., & Ulber, R. (2014). Enzymatic hydrolysis of beech wood lignocellulose at high solid contents and its utilization as substrate for the production of biobutanol and dicarboxylic acids. Bioresource Technology, 167, 447–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jimenez-Quero, A., Pollet, E., Zhao, M., Marchioni, E., Averous, L., & Phalip, V. (2016). Itaconic and fumaric acid production from biomass hydrolyzates by Aspergillus strains. Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, 26(9), 1557–1565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pedrosa, G. B., Montipo, S., Mario, D. A. N., Alves, S. H., & Martins, A. F. (2017). Building block itaconic acid from left-over biomass. Biomass Conversion & Biorefinery, 7(1), 23–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krull, S., Eidt, L., Hevekerl, A., Kuenz, A., & Prüße, U. (2018). Itaconic acid production from wheat chaff by Aspergillus terreus. Process Biochemistry, 63, 169–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saha, B. C., Kennedy, G. J., Qureshi, N., & Bowman, M. J. (2017). Production of itaconic acid from pentose sugars by Aspergillus terreus. Biotechnology Progress, 33(4), 1059–1067.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saha, B. C., & Kennedy, G. J. (2018). Ninety six well microtiter plate as microbioreactors for production of itaconic acid by six Aspergillus terreus strains. Journal of Microbiological Methods, 144, 53–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hervekerl, A., Kuenz, A., & Vorlop, K.-D. (2014). Filamentous fungi in microtiter plates—an easy way to optimize itaconic acid production with Aspergillus terreus. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 98(16), 6983–6989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saha, B. C., Nichols, N. N., & Cotta, M. A. (2011). Ethanol production from wheat straw by recombinant Escherichia coli strain FBR5 at high solid loading. Bioresource Technology, 102(23), 10892–10897.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Karaffa, L., Diaz, R., Papp, B., Fekete, E., Sándor, E., & Kubicek, C. P. (2015). A deficiency of manganese ions in the presence of high sugar concentrations is the critical parameter for achieving high yields of itaconic acid by Aspergillus terreus. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 99(19), 7937–7944.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bradford, H. H. (1976). Rapid and sensitive method for the quantification of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding. Analytical Biochemistry, 72(1-2), 248–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bakota, E. L., Dunn, R. O., & Seal, X. L. (2015). Heavy metals screening of rice bran oils and its relation to composition. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, 117(9), 1452–1462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saha, B. C. (2003). Hemicellulose bioconversion. Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology, 30(5), 279–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kaparaju, P., Serrano, M., Thomsen, A. B., Kongjan, P., & Angelidaki, I. (2009). Bioethanol, biohydrogen and biogas production from wheat straw in a biorefinery concept. Bioresource Technology, 100(9), 2562–2568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rychtera, M., & Wase, D. A. (1981). The growth of Aspergillus terreus and the production of itaconic acid in batch and continuous cultures. The influence of pH. Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology, 31(1), 509–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gyamerah, M. H. (1995). Oxygen requirement and energy relations of itaconic acid fermentation by Aspergillus terreus NRRL 1960. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 44(3-4), 356–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar