Ergothioneine production using Methylobacterium species, yeast, and fungi

Yoshiko Fujitani, Kabir Md Alamgir, Akio Tani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Ergothioneine (EGT) is a sulfur-containing, anti-oxidative amino acid derived from histidine. EGT is synthesized in bacteria and fungi but not in animals and plants, and is now recognized as important for human health. Its cost-effective fermentative production has not been elucidated due to the lack of information for productive microorganisms. In this study, we doubled the gene copy for EGT synthesis and deleted the histidine ammonia-lyase gene in a potent EGT-producing methylotrophic bacterium Methylobacterium aquaticum strain 22A, and optimized its culture conditions, resulting in increased EGT production of 7.0 mg EGT/g dry cell weight and 100 μg EGT/5 mL/7 days. In addition, through screening we found EGT-producing eukaryotic strains of Aureobasidium pullulans and Rhodotorula mucilaginosa, which can produce 1.0 and 3.2 mg EGT/g dry cell weight, 70 and 120 μg EGT/5 mL/7 days, respectively. This study proposes practical uses of potent EGT-producing recombinant Methylobacterium species and non-recombinant yeast and fungal strains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-722
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Anti-oxidative amino acid
  • Aureobasidium pullulans
  • Ergothioneine
  • Methanol
  • Methylobacterium species
  • Rhodotorula mucilaginosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Ergothioneine production using Methylobacterium species, yeast, and fungi'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this