Introduction of the yeast strain Cryptococcus uzbekistanensis as a melatonin producer: Evaluation of the effect of different growth media on melatonin production

Ali Nosrati


Melatonin (N-Acetyl-5-Methoxytryptamine) is a neuro-hormone produced in the pineal gland. It is found in animals, plants and fungi. Its biological properties contribute to the circadian rhythm, reproductive physiology and antioxidant activity. Melatonin is known to help reduce the effects of the jet lag by cultivating the necessary re-set of the body's circadian rhythm. Natural production of melatonin in humans depends on the amount of light as well as age; in fact, natural melatonin production declines with age. The present study was conducted to evaluate melatonin expression in yeast species. One hundred and thirty yeast species were screened and analyzed for melatonin production. It was found that Cryptococcus uzbekistanensis produced 46 ppm of melatonin in the optimized condition. The Box-Behnken methodology was used to identify significant factors in terms of the carbon source, temperature, growth incubation, and tryptophan concentration for optimization of melatonin production. The Response Surface Methodology (RSM) was applied to optimize the levels of these factors. In the presence of 3 ppm of tryptophan in the growth media, a growth incubation time of 72 hours, glucose as carbohydrate, and a temperature of 308 Kelvin, Cryptococcus uzbekistanensis produced the maximum concentration of melatonin. This is among few instances that a microorganism is found to produce melatonin and thus the results can be utilized for industrial production of melatonin.

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