Applied microbiology and biotechnology

Enhanced α-ketoglutaric acid production and recovery in Yarrowia lipolytica yeast by effective pH controlling.

PMID 23948727


The replacement of chemical synthesis by environmentally friendly energy-efficient technologies for production of valuable metabolites is a principal strategy of developing biotechnological industry all over the world. In the present study, we develop a method for α-ketoglutaric acid (KGA) production from rapeseed oil with the use of Yarrowia lipolytica yeast. Sixty strains of Y. lipolytica yeasts were tested for their ability to produce KGA, and the strain Y. lipolytica 212 (Y. lipolytica VKM Y-2412) was selected as a promising KGA producer. Using a three-stage pH controlling, in which pH was 4.5 in the growth phase, then since 72 to 144 h, pH was maintained at 3.5 and in the later phase of acid production, the titration by KOH was switch off, selected strain produced 106.5 g l(-1) of KGA with mass yield of 0.95 g g(-1). KGA in the form of monopotassium salt was isolated from the culture broth and purified. The isolation procedure involved separation of biomass, extraction of residual triglycerides, filtrate bleaching, and acidification with mineral acid (to pH 2.8-3.4), concentration, precipitation of mineral salts, and crystallization of the product. The purity of KGA isolated from the culture filtrate reached 99.1 %.