Investigation of filamentous fungi producing safe, functional water-soluble pigments

Young Mok Heo, Kyeongwon Kim, Sun Lul Kwon, Joorim Na, Hanbyul Lee, Seokyoon Jang, Chul Hwan Kim, Jinho Jung, Jae Jin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The production of water-soluble pigments by fungal strains indigenous to South Korea was investigated to find those that are highly productive in submerged culture. Among 113 candidates, 34 strains that colored the inoculated potato dextrose agar medium were selected. They were cultured in potato dextrose broth and extracted with ethanol. The productivity, functionality (radical-scavenging activities), and color information (CIELAB values) of the pigment extracts were measured. Five species produced intense yellowish pigments, and two produced intense reddish pigments that ranked the highest in terms of absorbance units produced per day. The pigment extracts of Penicillium miczynskii, Sanghuangporus baumii, Trichoderma sp. 1, and Trichoderma afroharzianum exhibited high radical-scavenging activity. However, the S. baumii extract showed moderate toxicity in the acute toxicity test, which limits the industrial application of this pigment. In conclusion, P. miczynskii KUC1721, Trichoderma sp. 1 KUC1716, and T. afroharzianum KUC21213 were the best fungal candidates to be industrial producers of safe, functional water-soluble pigments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-277
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Acute toxicity
  • Antioxidant
  • Colorimetry
  • Fungal pigment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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