Calcium affects polyphosphate and lipid accumulation in mucoromycota fungi

Simona Dzurendova*, Boris Zimmermann, Achim Kohler, Kasper Reitzel, Ulla Gro Nielsen, Benjamin Xavier Dupuy--galet, Shaun Leivers, Svein Jarle Horn, Volha Shapaval

*Corresponding author for this work

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Calcium controls important processes in fungal metabolism, such as hyphae growth, cell wall synthesis, and stress tolerance. Recently, it was reported that calcium affects polyphosphate and lipid accumulation in fungi. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of calcium on the accumulation of lipids and polyphosphate for six oleaginous Mucoromycota fungi grown under different phosphorus/pH conditions. A Duetz microtiter plate system (Duetz MTPS) was used for the cultivation. The compositional profile of the microbial biomass was recorded using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, the high throughput screening extension (FTIR-HTS). Lipid content and fatty acid profiles were determined using gas chromatography (GC). Cellular phosphorus was determined using assay-based UV-Vis spectroscopy, and accumulated phosphates were characterized using solid-state31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Glucose consumption was estimated by FTIR-attenuated total reflection (FTIR-ATR). Overall, the data indicated that calcium availability enhances polyphosphate accumulation in Mucoromycota fungi, while calcium deficiency increases lipid production, especially under acidic conditions (pH 2–3) caused by the phosphorus limitation. In addition, it was observed that under acidic conditions, calcium deficiency leads to increase in carotenoid production. It can be concluded that calcium availability can be used as an optimization parameter in fungal fermentation processes to enhance the production of lipids or polyphosphates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number300
JournalJournal of Fungi
Issue number4
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Biorefinery
  • Calcium
  • Carotenoids
  • Fungi
  • Lipids
  • Mucoromycota
  • Polyphosphates


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