Journal of Food Science and Technology

, Volume 56, Issue 12, pp 5509–5517 | Cite as

Light irradiation can regulate the growth characteristics and metabolites compositions of Rhodotorula mucilaginosa

  • Weibao KongEmail author
  • Shuling Yang
  • Clement Agboyibor
  • Dong Chen
  • Aimei Zhang
  • Shiquan NiuEmail author
Original Article


Light is an important factor that can induce the growth of varieties of organisms including fungi and their secondary metabolites. The evolutions of biomass, carotenoids, lipid production, compositions and contents of fatty acid and amino acid in Rhodotorula mucilaginosa were investigated under different light irradiation conditions. The results indicated that irradiation with 1700 lx could promote the growth and glucose assimilation of R. mucilaginosa, compared to the dark control, while the trial with 3500 lx had certain inhibiting effects. The carotenoids concentrations and percentages of unsaturated fatty acid (USFA, C16:1 and C18:1) increased with the improvement of irradiation intensity. Conversely, the proportions of saturated fatty acids (C16:0, C18:0 and C20:0) were decreased. The relative contents of amino acid and total protein were reduced under illumination compared to dark control. Conclusively, irradiation could change the cell growth and metabolites of the pigmented fungus, which implied that there may be a photoinduced mode exists in R. mucilaginosa similar to that of Neurospora crassa, and it also could be applied to regulate the biosynthesis and production of valuable components such as carotenoids and USFA.


Rhodotorula mucilaginosa Light irradiation Growth characteristics Metabolites compositions Regulation 



This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31360192), and Team Project of Longyuan Youth Innovation & Entrepreneurship (2018).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Life SciencesNorthwest Normal UniversityLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Bioactive Products Engineering Research Center for Gansu Distinctive PlantsLanzhouChina

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