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Microbial strain improvement for enhanced polygalacturonase production by Aspergillus sojae
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Strain improvement is a powerful tool in commercial development of microbial fermentation processes. Strains of Aspergillus sojae which were previously identified as polygalacturonase producers were subjected to the cost-effective mutagenesis and selection method, the so-called random screening. Physical (ultraviolet irradiation at 254 nm) and chemical mutagens (N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine) were used in the development and implementation of a classical mutation and selection strategy for the improved production of pectic acid-degrading enzymes. Three mutation cycles of both mutagenic treatments and also the combination of them were performed to generate mutants descending from A. sojae ATCC 20235 and mutants of A. sojae CBS 100928. Pectinolytic enzyme production of the mutants was compared to their wild types in submerged and solid-state fermentation. Comparing both strains, higher pectinase activity was obtained by A. sojae ATCC 20235 and mutants thereof. The highest polygalacturonase activity (1,087.2±151.9 U/g) in solid-state culture was obtained by mutant M3, which was 1.7 times increased in comparison to the wild strain, A. sojae ATCC 20235. Additional, further mutation of mutant M3 for two more cycles of treatment by UV irradiation generated mutant DH56 with the highest polygalacturonase activity (98.8±8.7 U/mL) in submerged culture. This corresponded to 2.4-fold enhanced polygalacturonase production in comparison to the wild strain. The results of this study indicated the development of a classical mutation and selection strategy as a promising tool to improve pectinolytic enzyme production by both fungal strains.