Batch and fed-batch carotenoid production by Rhodotorula glutinis–Debaryomyces castellii co-cultures in corn syrup


Buzzini Dipartmento di Biologia Vegetale e Biotecnologie Agroambientali, Sezione Microbiologia Applicata, University of Perugia, Borgo XX Giugno, 06121, Perugia, Italy.


Aims: Investigations on the production of red pigments by Rhodotorula glutinis on raw substrates of agro-industrial origin may be considered of interest because they represent the first approach to the utilization of these raw materials for biotechnological purposes.

Methods and Results:Rhodotorula glutinis DBVPG 3853 was batch and fed-batch co-cultured with Debaryomyces castellii DBVPG 3503 in a medium containing corn syrup as the sole carbon source. Fed-batch co-cultures gave a volumetric production of 8·2 mg total carotenoid l–1, about 150% of that observed in batch co-cultures. The different carotenoid pigments (β-carotene, torulene, torularhodin) were quantified.

Conclusions: Oligosaccharides and dextrins of corn syrup could be used profitably for pigment production by R. glutinis DBVPG 3853–D. castellii DBVPG 3503 in co-culture.

Significance and Impact of the Study: The above results suggest that the red yeasts belonging to the genus Rhodotorula may have industrial relevance as carotenoid producers.