Production of ethanol by filamentous and yeast-like forms of Mucor indicus from fructose, glucose, sucrose, and molasses


The fungus Mucor indicus is found in this study able to consume glucose and fructose, but not sucrose in fermentation of sugarcane and sugar beet molasses. This might be an advantage in industries which want to selectively remove glucose and fructose for crystallisation of sucrose present in the molasses. On the other hand, the fungus assimilated sucrose after hydrolysis by the enzyme invertase. The fungus efficiently grew on glucose and fructose and produced ethanol in synthetic media or from molasses. The cultivations were carried out aerobically and anaerobically, and manipulated toward filamentous or yeast-like morphology. Ethanol was the major metabolite in all the experiments. The ethanol yield in anaerobic cultivations was between 0.35 and 0.48 g/g sugars consumed, depending on the carbon source and the growth morphology, while a yield of as low as 0.16 g/g was obtained during aerobic cultivation. The yeast-like form of the fungus showed faster ethanol production with an average productivity of 0.90 g/l h from glucose, fructose and inverted sucrose, than the filamentous form with an average productivity of 0.33 g/l h. The biomass of the fungus was also analyzed with respect to alkali-insoluble material (AIM), chitin, and chitosan. The biomass of the fungus contained per g maximum 0.217 g AIM and 0.042 g chitosan in yeast-like cultivation under aerobic conditions.

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The authors are grateful to the Culture Collection of Göteborg University for providing Mucor indicus and to Novozymes A/S for supplying the invertase enzyme.

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Correspondence to Keikhosro Karimi.

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Sharifia, M., Karimi, K. & Taherzadeh, M.J. Production of ethanol by filamentous and yeast-like forms of Mucor indicus from fructose, glucose, sucrose, and molasses. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 35, 1253–1259 (2008).

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  • Sugarcane molasses
  • Sugar beet molasses
  • Ethanol
  • Mucor indicus
  • Morphology