Enhanced production of squalene in the thraustochytrid Aurantiochytrium mangrovei by medium optimization and treatment with terbinafine

King Wai Fan, Tsunehiro Aki, Feng Chen, Yue Jiang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Squalene is an effective chemopreventive agent in reducing the incident of coronary heart disease and cancer. It is also a strong antioxidant used extensively in the food and cosmetic industries. Microbial sources of squalene are being explored in recent years. The objective of this study is to increase the squalene content and yield in the thraustochytrid, Aurantiochytrium mangrovei FB3 through medium optimization and the treatment with terbinafine, an inhibitor of squalene monooxygenase in the sterol biosynthetic pathway. The highest biomass concentration of 21.2g l-1 was obtained at a glucose concentration of 60gl-1, while the highest specific growth rate of 0.077 h-1 and the growth yield coefficient of 0.44 gg-1 based on glucose were achieved at a lower glucose concentration (30g l-1). The addition of terbinafine led to a slight inhibition of cell growth whereas an obvious increase in squalene content was observed at terbinafine concentrations of 10 and 100mg l-1, which corresponded to an increase of 36 and 40% in squalene content, respectively compared to the control. The addition of terbinafine was thus effective in inducing the accumulation of squalene in A. mangrovei. This study not only demonstrated the production potential of squalene by A. mangrovei, but also provided novel information on the accumulation effect of terbinafine on the biosynthesis of an essential intermediate involved in sterol metabolic pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1303-1309
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number7
Early online date8 Jan 2010
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Physiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Aurantiochytrium mangrovei
  • Microalga
  • Squalene
  • Terbinafine


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