Effects of melanin on the accumulation of exopolysaccharides by Aureobasidium pullulans grown on nitrate Academic Article uri icon


  • Aureobasidium pullulans produced pullulan and melanin when grown in medium containing low nitrate levels. With high nitrate concentrations, however, this fungus produced a mixture of exopolysaccharides (EPS) without melanin synthesis. At 0.78 g l(-1) N as nitrate, where no melanin synthesis occurred, maximum EPS yields reached 6.92 g l(-1) and then decreased to the final yield of 2.36 g l(-1). Following melanin addition (0.1 g l(-1)), yields reached 7.02 g l(-1) at 48 h and fell to a final yield of 5.21 g l(-1). The EPS produced in high nitrate medium contained both pullulan and (1-->3)-beta-glucan, but only pullulan was produced with melanin-supplementation. With melanin addition a doubling of (1-->3)-beta-glucanase activity was observed in high nitrate medium compared to that without supplementation. On the other hand amylolytic activities disappeared in medium with melanin production or addition. Culture filtrates sustained a higher reducing capacity (RC) when melanin was present. Low RC appeared to reduce (1-->3)-beta-glucanase activity and increase amylolytic activities. Thus, higher RC appears to inhibit production/activity of amylose-degrading enzymes capable of degrading pullulan, and stimulates (1-->3)-beta-glucanase synthesis/activity, leading to a preferential accumulation of pullulan.

publication date

  • November 2008