Fungal chitosan production and its characterization

Lett Appl Microbiol. 2002;35(1):17-21. doi: 10.1046/j.1472-765x.2002.01118.x.


Aims: The objective of this investigation was to evaluate the chitosans produced by several species of fungi.

Methods and results: Representatives of four species of filamentous fungi, Aspergillus niger, Rhizopus oryzae, Lentinus edodes and Pleurotus sajo-caju, and two yeast strains, Zygosaccharomyces rouxii TISTR5058 and Candida albicans TISTR5239, were investigated for their ability to produce chitosan in complex media. Fungal chitosan was produced at 10-140 mg g-1 cell dry weight, had a degree of deacetylation of 84-90% and a molecular weight of 2.7 x 104-1.9 x 105 Da with a viscosity of 3.1-6.2 centipoises (cP).

Conclusions: Rhizopus oryzae TISTR3189 was found to be the producer of the highest amounts of chitosan.

Significance and impact of the study: Commercial chitosan could be obtained from Rhizopus mycelia and would have potential applications for medical and agricultural uses.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aspergillus niger / metabolism
  • Brachyura / anatomy & histology
  • Brachyura / chemistry
  • Candida albicans / metabolism
  • Chitin / analogs & derivatives
  • Chitin / biosynthesis*
  • Chitin / chemistry*
  • Chitosan
  • Culture Media
  • Fungi / metabolism*
  • Molecular Weight
  • Pleurotus / metabolism
  • Rhizopus / metabolism
  • Shiitake Mushrooms / metabolism
  • Species Specificity
  • Viscosity
  • Zygosaccharomyces / metabolism


  • Culture Media
  • Chitin
  • Chitosan