Echinocandin B, a kind of antimycotic with cyclic lipo-hexapeptides, was produced by fermentation with Aspergillus nidulans using fructose as main carbon source. The objective of this study was to screen a high-yield mutant capable of using cheap starch as main carbon source by atmospheric and room temperature plasma (ARTP) treatment in order to decrease the production cost of echinocandin B. A stable mutant A. nidulans ZJB19033, which can use starch as optimal carbon source instead of expensive fructose, was selected from two thousands isolates after several cycles of ARTP mutagenesis. To further increase the production of echinocandin B, the optimization of fermentation medium was performed by response surface methodology (RSM), employing Plackett-Burman design (PBD) followed by Box-Behnken design (BBD). The optimized fermentation medium provided the optimal yield of echinocandin B, 2425.9 ± 43.8 mg/L, 1.3-fold compared to unoptimized medium. The results indicated that the mutant could achieve high echinocandin B production using cheap starch as main carbon source, and the cost of carbon sources in fermentation medium reduced dramatically by about 45%.
Keywords: Aspergillus nidulans; Echinocandin B; atmospheric and room temperature plasma (ARTP) mutagenesis; response surface methodology (RSM); starch.