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Open AccessArticle

Asymmetric Ketone Reduction by Immobilized Rhodotorula mucilaginosa

School of Marine Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 210203, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Departamento de Química, Faculdade de Ciências, UNESP, Bauru 17033-360, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Catalysts 2018, 8(4), 165;
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immobilized Biocatalysts)
PDF [1968 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]


In our previous study, Rhodotorula mucilaginosa (R. mucilaginosa) was selected via high throughput screening as a very active and selective whole-cell biocatalyst for the asymmetric reduction of ketones. In this study, the reduction of ketones to the desired chiral alcohols by immobilized cells of this strain was investigated. Characterization with Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed that whole R. mucilaginosa cells were successfully immobilized on support matrices composed of agar, calcium alginate, PVA-alginate and chitosan. The immobilized cells were applied to the enantioselective reduction of fourteen different aromatic ketones. Good to excellent results were achieved with R. mucilaginosa cells immobilized on agar and calcium alginate. The immobilized cells on the selected support matrix composed of agar exhibited a significant increase in pH tolerance at pH 3.5–9 and demonstrated highly improved thermal stability compared to free cells. The cells immobilized on agar retained 90% activity after 60 days storage at 4 °C and retained almost 100% activity after 6 reuse cycles. In addition, the immobilization procedures are very simple and cause minimal pollution. These results suggest that the application of immobilized R. mucilaginosa can be practical on an industrial scale to produce chiral alcohols. View Full-Text
Keywords: biocatalyst; Rhodotorula mucilaginosa; immobilization; asymmetric reduction; stability biocatalyst; Rhodotorula mucilaginosa; immobilization; asymmetric reduction; stability

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Liu, H.; Duan, W.-D.; De Souza, F.Z.R.; Liu, L.; Chen, B.-S. Asymmetric Ketone Reduction by Immobilized Rhodotorula mucilaginosa. Catalysts 2018, 8, 165.

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