Characterization of the Red Biochromes Produced by the Endophytic Fungus Monascus purpureus CPEF02 with Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Activities

Kaur Mehak , Goel Mayurika , Mishra Rahul Chandra ,Lahane Vaibhavi, Yadav Akhilesh K. , Barrow Colin J.

Food colourant, Monascus, polyketide, bio-pigment, antimicrobial Food acceptability and appeal are significantly influenced by colour. Harmful effects associated with synthetic colorants are well established, and research is currently focused on developing natural, synthetic chemical-free substitutes from fungal sources, with broad applications in food, medicine, textiles and agriculture. Additionally, the market’s dearth of natural red colour substitutes requires the creation of novel red pigment alternatives from secure and scalable sources. The goal of the current research was to establish new endophytic marine fungi that are naturally occurring bio-sources of the red pigment. Based on its profuse extracellular red pigment-producing capacity, the fungus CPEF02 was selected and identified as Monascus purpureus CPEF02 via internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences and phylogenetic analysis. The chemical moieties of the pigmented extracts were identified by liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS). The optimal culture conditions for maximum pigment production were investigated by surveying various media compositions. The methanolic fungal colourant extract was shown to have substantial antibacterial and antifungal activities against anthropogenic pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus (MTCC 1430), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (ATCCBAA811), Salmonella typhimurium (MTCC 3241) and Vibrio cholerae (N16961) at a 100 µg/mL concentration and at a 1 mg/mL concentration for Alternaria solani (ITCC 4632) and Rhizoctonia solani (AG1-IA). This extract also exhibited antioxidant activity against the 2, 20-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) radical with an IC50 of 14.42 µg/mL and a Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity of 0.571 M Trolox/µg of the methanolic colourant extract. The findings suggested that M. purpureus’s pigment could be a source of an industrially useful natural red colourant.

Agricultural biotechnology