Barry Aigbodion Omogbai, Marcel Ikenebomeh
Microbiology of Microbiology
Chitosan production was investigated using a laboratory-scale solid substrate fermentation (SSF) technique with four species of fungi: Penicillium expansum, Aspergillus niger, Rhizopus oryzae and Fusarium moniliforme.The peak growth for the organisms was after 16 days. Aspergillus niger had the highest growth with a maximal dry cell biomass of 15.8g/kg after 16 days cultivation on corn straw under solid substrate fermentation. This was closely followed by Rhizopus oryzae (14.6g/kg), Penicillium expansum (13.8g/kg) and Fusarium moniliforme (10.6g/kg) respectively. The fungus Rhizopus oryzae had the highest chitosan production with a maximum of 8.57g/kg in 16 days under solid substrate fermentation (SSF) with a medium containing corn straw. Aspergillus niger showed a modest chitosan yield of 6.8g/kg. Penicillium expansum and Fusarium moniliforme had low chitosan yields of 4.31g/kg and 3.1g/kg respectively. The degree of deacetylation of fungal chitosans ranged between 75.3-91.5% with a viscosity of 3.6-7.2 centipoises (Cp).Chitosan extracted from Rhizopus oryzae was found to have antibacterial activity on some bacterial isolates. At a concentration of 50mg/L, Rhizopus oryzae chitosan paralleled crab chitosan in susceptibility testing against some food-borne bacterial pathogens. Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Bacillus subtilis showed inhibition rates of 83.2%, 67.9%, 63.8% and 62.4% respectively in response to 50mg/l Rhizopus oryzae chitosan in 24 h. The rate of inhibition (%) increased with increase in chitosan concentration.