• biotechnology;
  • fermentation;
  • fungi;
  • mycotoxins;
  • pigments

ABSTRACT:  Amino acids were used as sole nitrogen sources to examine their effects on the production of water-soluble red pigments and citrinin by Monascus ruber ATCC 96218 cultivated on chemically defined media. In general, when glycine, tyrosine, arginine, serine, or histidine were used as sole nitrogen sources, they favored the production of red pigments, and restricted the synthesis of the mycotoxin. In contrast, the production of citrinin was enhanced in media supplemented with either glutamate, alanine, or proline. Histidine was found to be the most valuable amino acid as it resulted in the highest production of red pigments and almost completely eliminated the formation of mycotoxin.