Several strains of species of the fungal genus , and of , were screened for content of the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) arachidonic acid (AA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). The aim of the investigation was to establish alternative sources of these PUFAs, which are of importance in human nutrition. As a relatively prolific producer of EPA and AA, strain # 144 was selected for a study of conditions that enhance their production over baseline levels that are present in the fungus when cultured for 6 d at 25°C with rotary shaking (120 r.p.m.) in Vogel's medium containing sucrose as the carbon substrate. The levels of AA and EPA under these conditions were 133 ± 27 and 138 ± 25 mg l (n = 5), respectively. Maximal production of these fatty acids was accomplished by the following sequence of steps. (1) Incubate the cultures for 6 d after inoculation under the conditions described above. Then (2) add glucose to the cultures (2%, w/v, final concentration) and incubate for a further 6 d at 13°C. Under these conditions, the AA content of the mycelium was 205% higher than baseline levels and the EPA content was 198% higher. (3) Allow the cultures to remain stationary for 10 d which increases the AA content to 253% above baseline levels and the EPA content by 236%. Using such a procedure, 322 mg AA I and 383 mg EPA l were produced.


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