Arachidonic acid, as an important polyunsaturated fatty acid, is identified as potential food additives or pharmaceuticals for their biological activities. In recent years, arachidonic acid production by Mortierella alpina is becoming a research highlight. The prophase relevant researches focused on the mutagenic breeding and fermentation optimization. With the depth of investigation, the advancement concerning pathway for the biosynthesis of arachidonic acid in Mortierella alpina has been made. In this review, we summarized the prophase work briefly. Mainly, we discussed the biosynthesis pathway of arachidonic acid, the key enzymes, the construction of transformation system and the genetic modification. In addition, the prospect of microorganism arachidonic acid production is put forward.