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Effects of Light Intensity and Color on the Biomass, Extracellular Red Pigment, and Citrinin Production of Monascus ruber

Wang, Liling, Dai, Yang, Chen, Wanping, Shao, Yanchun, Chen, Fusheng
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2016 v.64 no.50 pp. 9506-9514
Monascus ruber, biomass, blue light, citrinin, color, fungi, gene expression, gene expression regulation, green light, light intensity, photoreceptors, pigments, red light
Light is a crucial environmental signal for fungi. In this work, the effects of different light intensities and colors on biomass, Monascus pigments (MPs) and citrinin production of Monascus ruber M7 were investigated. We have demonstrated that low intensity of blue light (500 lx) decreased Monascus biomass, increased MPs accumulation via upregulation of MpigA, MpigB, and MpigJ genes expression, but had no significant influence on citrinin production. High intensity of blue light (1500 lx) decreased citrinin accumulation but had no significant influence on biomass and MPs production after 14 days cultivation. Low intensity of green light (500 lx) stimulated citrinin production via upregulation of pksCT, mrl1, mrl2, and ctnA genes expression. One putative red light photoreceptor and two putative green light photoreceptors were identified in M. ruber M7. These observations will not only guide the practical production of Monascus but also contribute to our understanding light effects on Monascus.