Regulation of cell differentiation to promote pullulan synthesis in Aureobasidium pullulans NG

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2023 Sep 12. doi: 10.1007/s00253-023-12758-z. Online ahead of print.


Pullulan is a polymer produced by Aureobasidium spp. The yield of pullulan production can be impacted by the cellular differentiation of Aureobasidium spp., which changes with alterations in the growth environment. To improve pullulan yield, identifying key factors that regulate cellular differentiation is crucial. In this study, the main form of pullulan synthesis in Aureobasidium pullulans NG was through swollen cells (SC). The results showed that citric acid (CA) can regulate the cellular differentiation of Aureobasidium pullulans NG by accumulating higher levels of CA in the cells to maintain growth in SC form and increase pullulan production. The addition of 1.0% CA to Aureobasidium pullulans NG for 96 h resulted in a significant increase in pullulan production, producing 18.32 g/l compared to the control group which produced 10.23 g/l. Our findings suggest that controlling cellular differentiation using CA is a promising approach for enhancing pullulan production in Aureobasidium pullulans. KEY POINTS: • The regulation of cell differentiation in Aureobasidium pullulans NG is demonstrated to be influenced by citric acid. • Intracellular citric acid levels in Aureobasidium pullulans NG have been shown to support the growth of swollen cells. • Citric acid has been found to increase pullulan production in Aureobasidium pullulans NG.

Keywords: Aureobasidium pullulans; Cell differentiation; Citric acid; Pullulan; Swollen cell.