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Monascus purpureus Mutant Strains with High Monacolin K Yield Obtained by Atmospheric and Room Temperature Plasmas

QI Tiantian1, ZHANG Chan1,2,*, HU Jimei3, LANG Tiandan2, WANG Chengtao1,2,*, ZHAO Jixing4   

  1. 1. Beijing Engineering and Technology Research Center of Food Additives, Beijing Technology and Business University,
    Beijing 100048, China; 2. Beijing Laboratory of Food Quality and Safety, Beijing Technology and Business University,
    Beijing 100048, China; 3. China International Engineering Consulting Corporation, Beijing 100048, China;
    4. Shandong Zhonghui Food Co. Ltd., Binzhou 251706, China
  • Online:2015-05-15 Published:2015-05-11


Atmospheric and room temperature plasma (ARTP) jet was used to induce Monascus purpureus M-1, in order
to obtain mutant strains with enhanced ability to produce monacolin K. The optimal treatment conditions were determined,
and dilution plate culture method was used to screen mutant strains. HPLC was used to analyze monacolin K production,
and scanning electron microscopy was used to observe microstructure characteristics of the strain M-1 before and after
mutagenesis. Results showed that ARTP had a stronger lethal effect on Monascus purpureus M-1, and the fatality rate of
Monascus purpureus reached 84% after 30 s of ARTP treatment. When treated for 90 s, the fatality rate was about 92.6%,
with higher mutation rate (23.8%), and monacolin K yield of the mutant 23 was 428.14 mg/L, which was increased by 111%
when compared with that of the initial strain M-1. ARTP resulted in morphological changes of Monascus purpureus in terms of
colony color, mycelium and spore morphological characteristics. Active particles produced by ARTP could lead to DNA damage
and even non-repairable mutations through penetrating the cell membrane to form the genetic stability of the mutant strains.

Key words: atmospheric and room temperature plasma (ARTP), Monascus purpureus, monacolin K, mutant strains, scanning electron microscope

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