Extracellular production of L-ascorbic acid by Chlorella protothecoides, Prototheca species, and mutants of P. moriformis during aerobic culturing at low pH

  • JA Running
  • DK Severson
  • KJ Schneider

DOI: 10.1038/sj.jim.7000275

Cite this article as:
Running, J., Severson, D. & Schneider, K. J Ind Microbiol Biotech (2002) 29: 93. doi:10.1038/sj.jim.7000275

Nine strains of Chlorella protothecoides and 43 strains representing the five species of Prototheca were screened in flask culture for their ability to synthesize L-ascorbic acid (AA). Ascorbic acid was detected in all strains, ranging from 4.8 to 0.38 mg AA g−1 of dry cells. Organisms selected for further study grew well and maintained their AA productivity above a pH of 3.5. They can produce AA using a variety of carbon and nitrogen sources. Aerobic fermentation of selected strains resulted in extracellular accumulation of AA up to 76 mg l−1. By classical mutagenesis and selection methods, we created mutants of Prototheca moriformis ATCC 75669 that produced greater quantities of AA than the wild-type strain (78.4 vs 21.9 mg AA g−1 of cells). A process based on extracellular production could greatly reduce the cost of AA manufacture by eliminating the need for extraction of the AA from the cells. Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology (2002) 29, 93–98 doi:10.1038/sj.jim.7000275

Keywords: L-ascorbic acid; vitamin C; Prototheca; Chlorella; Chlorophyceae; fermentation 

Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • JA Running
    • 1
  • DK Severson
    • 1
  • KJ Schneider
    • 1
  1. 1.Bio-Technical Resources, 1035 South 7th Street, Manitowoc, WI 54220, USAUS

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