Lipase high-producing mutants with petroleum products as carbon sources were successfully induced from Trichosporon fermentans WU-C12 by ultraviolet (UV) light irradiation. In the first mutation step, one mutant strain, PU-30, derived from strain WU-C12 was selected. The productivity of extracellular lipase of PU-30 reached 58 units (U)/ml in the medium containing kerosene, being approximately twice the productivity of the parental strain WU-C12. In the second mutation step, the mutant strain 2PU-18 was induced from strain PU-30. In medium containing kerosene, gas oil and liquid paraffin, the 2PU-18 produced 70 U/ml, 62 U/ml and 60 U/ml of extracellular lipase, respectively. When various n-alkanes (C8-C18) were used as carbon sources, the parental strain WU-C12 produced more than 20 U/ml of lipase only from C9-C12 alkanes, but 2PU-18 could produce more than 50 U/ml of lipase from C8-C18 alkanes. When cultivated for 3 days in medium containing liquid paraffin, the activity ratios of extracellular lipase to total lipase and the values of extracellular lipase activity per dry-cell weight were 0.44 and 0.65 U/mg for WU-C12, and 0.62 and 1.82 U/mg for 2PU-18, respectively. These results indicate that the mutant strain 2PU-18 is superior in both total lipase productivity and permeability of lipase to the parental strain WU-C12 when petroleum products are used as carbon sources.
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