Grasas y Aceites, Vol 46, No 4-5 (1995)

A mathematical model for the study of lipid accumulation in oleaginous microorganisms. II. Study of cellular lipids of Mucor circinelloides during growth on a vegetable oil

G. Aggelis
Agricultural University of Athens Dept. of Agricultural Biology and Biotechnology, Greece

M. Komaitis
Agricultural University of Athens Dept. of Agricultural Industries, Greece

S. Papanikolaou
Agricultural University of Athens Dept. of Agricultural Industries, Greece

G. Papadopoulos
Agricultural University of Athens Dept. of Mathematics, Greece


Microbial oil production from fatty materials of animal or plant origin has been an object of research and industrial interest for many years. During the process of microbial growth/accumulation of fat reserves, the dominating phenomena that define the composition of endocellular fat are, first, the specific process of incorporation of substrate fatty acids into the microbial cell and, second, the endocellular changes of fatty acids defined by the enzymic capabilities of the microorganism. The fatty acids will either be degraded for growth needs or act as substrate of endocellular biotransformation processes, leading to concentration changes and production of "new" fatty acids which did not previously exist in the substrate.
The purpose of the present work is to study the endocellular lipids of Mucor circinelloidesCBS 172-27 grown on sunflower oil. The mathematical model, described in part I, was applied in order to investigate the following:
a. Microorganism specificity in the incorporation of substrate fatty acids.
b. Microorganism specificity in the degradation of fatty acids present in the reserve fat.
c. Possibilities of endocellular biotransformations during the microbial growth.
In conclusion, this work is aimed at developing a quantitative expression of parameters defining the lipid composition of fat reserves. The proposed mathematical model can be used not only for selection of microbial strains having specific enzymic potential but also for substrate selection.


Lipid ( accumulation); Mathematical model; Mucor circinelloides CBS 172-27; Sunflower oil

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Copyright (c) 1995 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

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