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Study of Metabolic Profile of Rhizopus oryzae to Enhance Fumaric Acid Production Under Low pH Condition


Ensuring a suitable pH is a major problem in industrial organic acid fermentation. To circumvent this problem, we used a metabolic profiling approach to analyze metabolite changes in Rhizopus oryzae under different pH conditions. A correlation between fumaric acid production and intracellular metabolic characteristics of R. oryzae was revealed by principal component analysis. The results showed that to help cell survival in the presence of low pH, R. oryzae altered amino acid and fatty acid metabolism and promoted sugar or sugar alcohol synthesis, corresponding with a suppressing of energy metabolism, phenylalanine, and tyrosine synthesis and finally resulting in the low performance of fumaric acid production. Based on this observation, 1 % linoleic acid was added to the culture medium in pH 3.0 to decrease the carbon demand for cell survival, and the fumaric acid titer was enhanced by 39.7 % compared with the control (pH 3.0 without linoleic acid addition), reaching 18.3 g/L after 84 h of fermentation. These findings provide new insights into the mechanism by which R. oryzae responds to acidic stress and would be helpful for the development of efficient strategies for fumaric acid production at low pH.

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This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21106065), the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2013CB733605), National Science Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholars of China (No. 21225626), the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (No.2011AA02A206), and the undergraduates innovating experimentation project from Nanjing Tech University (No. 2015 DC043).

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Correspondence to He Huang.

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Liu, Y., Xu, Q., Lv, C. et al. Study of Metabolic Profile of Rhizopus oryzae to Enhance Fumaric Acid Production Under Low pH Condition. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 177, 1508–1519 (2015).

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  • Rhizopus oryzae
  • Fumaric acid
  • Acidic stress
  • Metabolic profile