Reduced by-product formation and modified oxygen availability improve itaconic acid production in Aspergillus niger.
van Zeijl, C.
Aspergillus niger has an extraordinary potential to produce organic acids as proven by its application in industrial citric acid production. Previously, it was shown that expression of the cis-aconitate decarboxylase gene (cadA) from Aspergillus terreus converted A. niger into an itaconic acid producer (Li et al., Fungal Genet Bio 48: 602-611, 2011). After some initial steps in production optimization in the previous research (Li et al., BMC biotechnol 12: 57, 2012), this research aims at modifying host strains and fermentation conditions to further improve itaconic acid production. Expression of two previously identified A. terreus genes encoding putative organic acid transporters (mttA, mfsA) increased itaconic acid production in an A. niger cis-aconitate decarboxylase expressing strain. Surprisingly, the production did not increase further when both transporters were expressed together. Meanwhile, oxalic acid was accumulated as a by-product in the culture of mfsA transformants. In order to further increase itaconic acid production and eliminate by-product formation, the non-acidifying strain D15#26 and the oxaloacetate acetylhydrolase (oahA) deletion strain AB 1.13 ΔoahA #76 have been analyzed for itaconic acid production. Whereas cadA expression in AB 1.13 ΔoahA #76 resulted in higher itaconic acid production than strain CAD 10.1, this was not the case in strain D15#26. As expected, oxalic acid production was eliminated in both strains. In a further attempt to increase itaconic acid levels, an improved basal citric acid-producing strain, N201, was used for cadA expression. A selected transformant (N201CAD) produced more itaconic acid than strain CAD 10.1, derived from A. niger strain AB1.13. Subsequently, we have focused on the influence of dissolved oxygen (D.O.) on itaconic acid production. Interestingly, reduced D.O. levels (10-25 %) increased itaconic acid production using strain N201 CAD. Similar results were obtained in strain AB 1.13 CAD + HBD2.5 (HBD 2.5) which overexpressed a fungal hemoglobin domain. Our results showed that overexpression of the hemoglobin domain increased itaconic acid production in A. niger at lower D.O. levels. Evidently, the lower levels of D.O. have a positive influence on itaconic acid production in A. niger strains.Chemicals/CAS: itaconic acid, 97-65-4; oxygen, 7782-44-7; Oxygen, 7782-44-7; Succinates; itaconic acid, 97-65-4
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MSB - Microbiology and Systems Biology
EELS - Earth, Environmental and Life Sciences
succinic acid derivative
Applied microbiology and biotechnology, 97 (9), 3901-3911