Microbial Production of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (Vitamin-F Group)

  • S. Shimizu
  • H. Yamada
Part of the Elsevier Applied Biotechnology Series book series (APBISE)


The classical investigations performed by Burr & Burr in 1929–1930 clearly demonstrated that animals cannot survive without an exogenous source of fat. Subsequent studies have shown that supplementing a fat-free diet with certain essential fatty acids prevents the occurrence of symptoms of fat deficiency. It is now well established that both the n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential in human nutrition. Current information indicates that they have important roles in the structure and function of biological membranes. They have recently attracted great interest due to their unique biological activities, such as lowering of plasma cholesterol level, prevention of thrombosis, and so on. In addition, they are precursors for the biosynthesis of a variety of a large family of structurally related C-20 compounds, such as prostaglandins, prostacyclins, thromboxanes and leukotrienes. Such current status of PUFAs suggests that they are highly important substances in the pharmaceutical, medical and nutritional fields. These substances are sometimes referred to as the vitamin-F-group.


Linoleic Acid Arachidonic Acid Total Fatty Acid Eicosapentaenoic Acid Fatty Acid Molecule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Borowitzka, M. A. & Borowitzka, L. J. (1988). Micro-algal Biotechnology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.Google Scholar
  2. Brenner, R. R. (1974). The oxidative desaturation of unsaturated fatty acids. Molec. Cell. Biochem. 3, 41–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dyerberg, J. (1986). Linolenate-derived polyunsaturated fatty acids and prevention of atherosclerosis. Nutr. Rev. 44, 135–34.Google Scholar
  4. Erwin, J. & Bloch K. (1964). Biosythesis of unsaturated fatty acids in micro-organism. Science, 143, 1006–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fluco, A. J. (1974). Metabolic alterations of fatty acids. Ann. Rev. Biochem., 43, 215–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fukuda, H. & Morikawa, H. (1987). Enhancement of γ-linolenic acid production by Mucor ambiguus with nonionic surfactant. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 27, 15–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gellerman, J. L. & Schlenk, H. (1979). Methyl-directed desaturation of arachidonic acid to eicosapentaenoic acid in the fungus, Saprolegnia parasitica. Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 573, 23–30.Google Scholar
  8. Hansson, L. & Dostálek, M. (1988). Effet of culture conditions on mycelial growth and production of γ-linolec acid by the fungus Mortierella ramamniana. Appl. Micriobiol. Biotechnol., 28, 240–46.Google Scholar
  9. Hartmann, E., Beutelmann, P. Vandekerkhove, O., Euler, R. & Kohn, G. (1986). Moss cell cultures as source of arachidonic acid and eicosapentaenoic acids. FEBS Lett. 198, 51–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Holloway, P. W. (1983). Fatty acid desaturation. In Enzymes, 3rd edn., Vol. XVI. Ed. P. D. Boyer, pp. 63–83. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  11. Horrobin, D. F. & Huang, Y.-S. (1987). The role of linoleic acid and its metabolites in the lowering of plasma chlolesterol and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Int. J. Cardiol., 17, 241–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Needleman, P., Turk, J., Jakschiik, B. A., Morrison, A. R. & Lefkowith, J. B. (1986). Arachidonic acid metabolism. Ann. Rev. Biochem., 55, 69–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Numa, S. (Ed) (1984). Fatty acid Metabolism and its Regulation. Elsvier, Amsderdam.Google Scholar
  14. Okayasu, T., Nagao, M., Ishibashi, T. & Imai, Y. (1981). Purification and partial characterization of linoleoyl-CoA desaturates from rat liver microsomes. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 206, 21–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Rahm, J. J. & Holman, R. T. (1971). Essential fatty acids. In The Vitamins, Chemistry, Physiology, Pathology, Methods, 2nd edn, Vol. Ill, ed. W. H. Sebrell Jr & R. T. Harris, pp. 303–39. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  16. Seto, A., Wang, H. L. & Hesseltine, C. W. (1984). Culture conditions affect eicosapentaenoic acid content of Chlorella minutissima. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc., 61, 892–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Shimizu, S., Shinmen, Y., Kawashima, H., Akimoto, K. & Yamada, H. (1988a). Fungal mycelia as a novel source of eicosapentaenoic acid, Activation of enzyme(s) involved in eicosapentaenoic acid production at low temperature. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 150, 335–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Shimizu, S., Kawashima, H., Shinmen, Y., Akimoto, K. & Yamada, H. (1988b). Production of eicosapentaenoic acid by Mortierella fungi. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc, 65, 1455–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Shimizu, S., Akimoto, K., Kawashima, H., Shinmen, Y. & Yamada, H. (1989a). Production of dihomo-γ-linolenic acid by Mortierella alpina 1S-4, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 66, 237–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Shimizu, S., Kawashima, H., Akimoto, K., Shinmen, Y. & Yamada, H. (1989b). Microbial conversion of an oil containing α-linolenic acid to an oil containing eicosapentaenoic acid. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 66, 342–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Show, R. (1965). The occurrence of γ-linolenic acid in fungi. Biochim. Biophys Acta, 98, 230–37.Google Scholar
  22. Suzuki, O. (1985). γ-Rinorensan no biseibutsu seisan (Production of γ-linolenic acid by micro-organisms). Hakko to Kogyo (Fermentation and Industry), 43, 1024–31.Google Scholar
  23. Suzuki, O. (1988). Production of γ-linolenic acid by fungi and its industrialization. In Proceedings of the World Conference on Biotechnology for the Fats and Oils Industry, Hamburg. American Oil Chemists′ Society, Champaign, Illinois, pp. 110–16.Google Scholar
  24. Suzuki, O. & Yokochi, T. (1986). Production of γ-linolenic acid by fungi. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc, 63, 434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wagner, A. F. & Folkers, K. (1964). The essential fatty acid group. In Vitamins and coenzymes. Interscience Publishers, New York, pp. 389–406.Google Scholar
  26. Yamada, H., Shimizu, S. & Shinmen, Y. (1987). Production of arachidonic acid by Mortierella elongata 1S-5. Agric. Biol. Chem. 51, 785–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Yamada, H., Shimizu, S., Shinmen, Y., Kawashima, H. & Akimoto, K. (1988). Production of arachidonic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid by micro-organisms, Proceedings of the World Conference on Biotechnology for the Fats and Oils Industry, Hamburg. American Oil Chemists’ Society, Champaign, Illinois, pp. 173–7.Google Scholar
  28. Yazawa, K., Araki, K., Okazaki, N., Watanabe, K., Ishikawa, C, Inoue, A., Numao, N., & Kondo, K. (1988). Production of eicosapentaenoic acid by marine bacteria. J. Biochem., 103, 5–7.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Elsevier Science Publishers Ltd 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Shimizu
    • 1
  • H. Yamada
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural ChemistryKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations