A mangrove Penicillium producing red pigment was cultured in an optimized medium that was designed by the authors previously and used in this study. The purpose of this study was to identify the pigment and also to study the effect of bio elements on pigment production. Pigment from the medium was efficiently extracted using chloroform, ethyl acetate and n-butanol. Most of the red pigment was extracted into ethyl acetate and further purified by preparative thin layer chromatography. From 1H and 13C NMR data supported by electronic imaging mass spectrometry, structure of the compound was elucidated as 2-(4-acetyl phenyl) acetic acid. The yield of pigment produced was studied with respect to various salts and bio elements. Salts at high concentrations (sodium chloride, ammonium sulfate, and sodium nitrite) had a drastic effect on pigment yield because most of the pigment remained adhered to the mycelium instead of diffusing into the medium. Also, when bio elements were supplemented to the medium; calcium, iron, and zinc enhanced pigment yield whereas; potassium, magnesium, copper and manganese did not have significant impact on pigment production. Lead had a drastic negative effect on the pigment yield. Therefore, this study proves that salts and bio elements play a major role in the production of various metabolites from mangrove fungi.
Key words: Penicillium, 2-(4-acetyl phenyl) acetic acid, bio elements, salts, soluble pigment.
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