Production of citric and oxalic acids and solubilization of calcium phosphate by Penicillium bilaii

Appl Environ Microbiol. 1992 May;58(5):1451-8.


An isolate of Penicillium bilaii previously reported to solubilize mineral phosphates and enhance plant uptake of phosphate was studied. Using agar media with calcium phosphate and the pH indicator alizarin red S, the influence of the medium composition on phosphate solubility and medium acidification was recorded. The major acidic metabolites produced by P. bilaii in a sucrose nitrate liquid medium were found to be oxalic acid and citric acid. Citric acid production was promoted under nitrogen-limited conditions, while oxalic acid production was promoted under carbon-limited conditions. Citric acid was produced in both growth and stationary phases, but oxalic acid production occurred only in stationary phase. When submerged cultures which normally produce acid were induced to sporulate, the culture medium shifted toward alkaline rather than acid reaction with growth.

MeSH terms

  • Agar
  • Calcium Phosphates / metabolism*
  • Citrates / metabolism*
  • Citric Acid
  • Culture Media
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kinetics
  • Oxalates / metabolism*
  • Oxalic Acid
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Penicillium / metabolism*
  • Penicillium / physiology
  • Solubility
  • Spores, Fungal / metabolism


  • Calcium Phosphates
  • Citrates
  • Culture Media
  • Oxalates
  • Citric Acid
  • Agar
  • Oxalic Acid
  • Oxygen