SUMMARY: A method is described for the production of dihydrogenated ergot alkaloids, principally dihydroergosine, in yields exceeding 0.5 mg/ml in surface liquid cultures of Alkaloid production occurred at the end of the growth phase and most of the product was released into the medium. An increase in the proportion of unsaturated fatty acids in the mycelial triglyceride oils during the growth phase was associated with the development of sclerotium-like tissues within the mycelial mat. Conversion of asparagine in the medium to aspartic acid by a non-alkaloid-producing strain indicated asparaginase activity. Inorganic phosphate was rapidly absorbed from the medium, and sucrose was utilized through hydrolysis followed by the preferential uptake of glucose. A glucan accumulated during growth of the alkaloid-producing strain, thus precluding a shake-culture process, whereas the small amount which was produced by a non-alkaloid-producing strain disappeared towards the end of the fermentation.


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