Tomotake Morita

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

Are you Tomotake Morita?

Claim your profile

Publications (95)203.23 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs) are a glycolipid class of biosurfactants produced by a variety yeast and fungal strains that exhibit excellent interfacial and biochemical properties. MEL-producing fungi were identified using an efficient screening method for the glycolipid production and taxonomical classification on the basis of ribosomal RNA sequences. MEL production is limited primarily to the genus Pseudozyma, with significant variability among the MEL structures produced by each species. Outside of Pseudozyma, one recently isolated strain, Ustilago scitaminea, has been shown to exhibit abundant MEL-B production from sugarcane juice. Structural analyses of these compounds suggest a role for MELs in numerous cosmetic applications. MELs act as effective topical moisturizers and can repair damaged hair. Furthermore, these compounds have been shown to exhibit both protective and healing activities, to activate fibroblasts and papilla cells, and to act as natural antioxidants. In this review, we provide a brief summary of MEL research over the past few decades, focusing on the identification of MEL-producing fungi, the structural characterization of MELs, the use of alternative compounds as a primary carbon source, and the use of these compounds in cosmetic applications.
    Journal of oleo science 02/2015; 64(2):133-41. DOI:10.5650/jos.ess14185 · 1.24 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Levulinic acid (LA) is a platform chemical derived from cellulosic biomass, and the expansion of LA utilization as a feedstock is important for production of a wide variety of chemicals. To investigate the potential of LA as a substrate for microbial conversion to chemicals, we isolated and identified LA-utilizing bacteria. Among the six isolated strains, Pseudomonas sp. LA18T and Rhodococcus hoagie LA6W degraded up to 70g/L LA in a high-cell-density system. The maximal accumulation of acetic acid by strain LA18T and propionic acid by strain LA6W was 13.6g/L and 9.1g/L, respectively, after a 4-day incubation. Another isolate, Burkholderia stabilis LA20W, produced trehalose extracellularly in the presence of 40g/L LA to approximately 2g/L. These abilities to produce useful compounds supported the potential of microbial LA conversion for future development and cellulosic biomass utilization. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Bioresource Technology 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.biortech.2014.11.048 · 5.04 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To produce l-glyceric acid (l-GA) from dl-GA, microbial resolution was investigated using newly isolated bacterial strains capable of enantiospecific degradation of d-GA. Strains GA3R and GA72P, identified as Serratia and Pseudomonas species, respectively, exhausted d-GA within 72 h, resulting in production of l-GA with enantiomeric purity ≥89%.
    Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.jbiosc.2014.10.016 · 1.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Here we report the 3.7-Mb draft genome sequence of Acetobacter tropicalis NBRC16470(T), which can produce optically pure d-glyceric acid (d-GA; 99% enantiomeric excess) from raw glycerol feedstock derived from biodiesel fuel production processes. Copyright © 2014 Koike et al.
    Genome Announcements 11/2014; 2(6). DOI:10.1128/genomeA.01329-14
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cellobiose lipids (CLs) are asymmetric bolaform biosurfactants, which are produced by Cryptococcus humicola JCM 10251 and have fungicidal activity. In this study, the sodium salts of CLs (CLNa) were prepared to improve aqueous solubility of the CLs, and their surface and gelation properties in aqueous solutions were examined by surface tension, rheology, and freeze-fracture transmission electron microscopy (FF-TEM) measurements. The surface tension measurements revealed that the CLNa have high surface activity: CMC1 and γCMC1 are 0.1 mg/ml and 34.7 mN/m, respectively. It was also found that the CLNa form giant micelles above their CMC, whose average size is 116.6 ± 31.9 nm. Unlike conventional surfactants, the surface tension reduced further with an increase in concentration and the aqueous solution became viscous at the minimum gelation concentration (MGC: 5.0 mg/ml). In rheological studies, the obtained gels proved to be rather soft and their sol-gel temperature was found to be approximately 50°C. FF-TEM observation of the gels showed 3D supramolecular structures with an entangled fibrous network. Since the present CLNa aqueous gels have a degree of fungicidal activity, they could be useful for novel multifunctional soft materials applicable to the food and cosmetic industries.
    Journal of oleo science 09/2014; 63(10). DOI:10.5650/jos.ess14104 · 1.24 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The basidiomycetous yeast Pseudozyma antarctica is known as a producer of industrial enzymes and the extracellular glycolipids, mannosylerythritol lipids. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of the type strain JCM10317. The draft genome assembly has a size of 18.1 Mb and a G+C content of 60.9%, and it consists of 197 scaffolds.
    Genome Announcements 09/2014; 2(5). DOI:10.1128/genomeA.00878-14
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The biological function of mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs) towards their producer, Pseudozyma antarctica, on plant surfaces was investigated. MEL-producing wild-type strain and its MEL production-defective mutant strain (ΔPaEMT1) were compared in terms of their phenotypic traits on the surface of plastic plates, onion peels, and fresh leaves of rice and wheat. While wild-type cells adhering on plastic surfaces and onion peels changed morphologically from single cells to elongated ones for a short period of about 4 h and 1 day, respectively, ΔPaEMT1 cells did not. Microscopic observation of both strains grown on plant leaf surfaces verified that the wild type colonized a significantly bigger area than that of ΔPaEMT1. However, when MELs were exogenously added to the mutant cells on plant surfaces, their colonized area became enlarged. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis revealed a secretion of higher amount of MELs in the cell suspension incubated with wheat leaf cuttings compared to that in the suspension without cuttings. Transcriptional analysis by real-time reverse transcriptase PCR verified that the expression of erythritol/mannose transferase gene and MELs transporter gene of P. antarctica increased in the cells inoculated onto wheat leaves at 4, 6, and 8 days of incubation, indicating a potential of P. antarctica to produce MELs on the leaves. These findings demonstrate that MELs produced by P. antarctica on plant surfaces could be expected to play a significant role in fungal morphological development and propagation on plant surfaces.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 04/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00253-014-5675-x · 3.81 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The isolation of biosurfactant-producing yeasts from food materials was accomplished. By a combination of a new drop collapse method and thin-layer chromatography, 48 strains were selected as glycolipid biosurfactant producers from 347 strains, which were randomly isolated from various vegetables and fruits. Of the producers, 69% were obtained from vegetables of the Brassica family. Of the 48 producers, 15 strains gave relatively high yields of mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs), and were identified as Pseudozyma yeasts. These strains produced MELs from olive oil at yields ranging from 8.5 to 24.3 g/L. The best yield coefficient reached 0.49 g/g as to the carbon sources added. Accordingly, MEL producers were isolated at high efficiency from various vegetables and fruits, indicating that biosurfactant producers are widely present in foods. The present results should facilitate their application in the food and related industries.
    Bioscience Biotechnology and Biochemistry 03/2014; 78(3):516-23. DOI:10.1080/09168451.2014.882754 · 1.27 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pseudozyma antarctica is a non-pathogenic phyllosphere yeast known as an excellent producer of mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs), multi-functional extracellular glycolipids, from vegetable oils. To clarify the genetic characteristics of P. antarctica, we analyzed the 18 Mb genome of P. antarctica T-34. On the basis of KOG analysis, the number of genes (219 genes) categorized into lipid transport and metabolism classification in P. antarctica was one and a half times larger than that of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (140 genes). The gene encoding an ATP/citrate lyase (ACL) related to acetyl-CoA synthesis conserved in oleaginous strains was found in P. antarctica genome: the single ACL gene possesses the four domains identical to that of the human gene, whereas the other oleaginous ascomycetous species have the two genes covering the four domains. P. antarctica genome exhibited a remarkable degree of synteny to U. maydis genome, however, the comparison of the gene expression profiles under the culture on the two carbon sources, glucose and soybean oil, by the DNA microarray method revealed that transcriptomes between the two species were significantly different. In P. antarctica, expression of the gene sets relating fatty acid metabolism were markedly up-regulated under the oily conditions compared with glucose. Additionally, MEL biosynthesis cluster of P. antarctica was highly expressed regardless of the carbon source as compared to U. maydis. These results strongly indicate that P. antarctica has an oleaginous nature which is relevant to its non-pathogenic and MEL-overproducing characteristics. The analysis and dataset contribute to stimulate the development of improved strains with customized properties for high yield production of functional bio-based materials.
    PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e86490. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0086490 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this study, spontaneous vesicle formation from the sodium salt of acidic sophorolipid (SLNa) was observed, and its potential application as a skin penetration enhancer for triterpene glycosides extracted from the fruits of Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle was then investigated. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements of the SLNa assemblies prepared by the gentle mixing of SLNa with water (1%) showed their hydrodynamic radius (Rh) to be 96.2 nm, and their structure was assigned to be vesicles by freeze-fracture electron microscopy (FF-TEM). DLS and FF-TEM also revealed that the size of the vesicles increased with an increase in the concentration of the triterpene glycosides, indicating that the triterpene glycosides were incorporated into the SLNa vesicles. The results of an in vitro skin permeation assay, after loading the SLNa vesicles on a 3D cultured skin model, showed that the amount of SLNa that penetrated though the skin model increased with time. It was also found that the amount of permeated mogroside, which is the main active component of triterpene glycosides, was significantly enhanced by the SLNa vesicle formulation. These results clearly demonstrated that spontaneously formed vesicles composed of the bolaamphiphile SLNa are useful for application as penetration enhancers for active ingredients such as mogroside V.
    Journal of oleo science 01/2014; DOI:10.5650/jos.ess13117 · 1.24 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To promote the effective use of raw glycerol, 13 yeast strains with the ability to produce mannitol from glycerol were isolated from environmental samples. Of the 13 strains, strain 7-12G was selected as an efficient mannitol producer from 25% (w/v) glycerol and was identified as Candida azyma by morphological, physicochemical, and phylogenetic analyses. When the ability to produce mannitol from raw glycerol in flask culture was compared among strains 7-12G, NBRC10406 (the type strain of C. azyma), and related strains, strain NBRC10406 exhibited the highest production level (31.8 g/l). Culture in jar fermentors was next investigated, and mannitol production reached 50.8 g/l over 7 days, corresponding to 0.30 g/g-glycerol. To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest reported level of mannitol produced by a microbe from glycerol under batch-type culture conditions.
    Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering 12/2013; 117(6). DOI:10.1016/j.jbiosc.2013.11.016 · 1.74 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The synergic effect and miscibility of the lactonic and acidic forms of sophorolipids (SLs) produced by Starmerella bombicola NBRC 10243 were first evaluated through atomic force microscopy (AFM), together with the Langmuir monolayer technique. The π-A isotherm of a pure lactonic sophorolipid (LS) monolayer mostly exhibited a liquid expanded monolayer, while that of an acidic sophorolipid (AS) monolayer showed a liquid condensed monolayer, suggesting that the lactonization of SLs makes the molecules more bulky and prevents them from adopting a close-packed arrangement. Plots of the mean area per molecule of mixed LS/AS monolayers gave positive deviations from the ideal curves, implying that the LS and AS molecules are miscible. Interestingly, the positive deviation of excess area (Aex) from ideality was most significant at a mole fraction (XAS) of 0.3, which closely resembles the composition of the LS/AS mixture secreted by S. bombicola in culture. The AFM images of mixed LS/AS monolayers transferred at 20 mN/m revealed no phase-separated microdomain structures, but rather showed small protruding objects for all compositions, indicating that LS and AS are partially miscible, as predicted by the positive deviations from the ideal curves. Cross-section analysis of the AFM images indicated that the observed protruding objects are AS-rich monolayers formed on the LS/AS monolayer. Our results clearly demonstrate that AFM combined with the Langmuir technique is useful for the exploration of the miscibility and synergic effects of microbial products.
    Journal of oleo science 12/2013; 63(1). DOI:10.5650/jos.ess13047 · 1.24 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To promote the effective use of raw glycerol (a by-product of biodiesel production), 110 yeast strains that produce D-arabitol from glycerol were isolated from environmental samples. Among them, strain 17-2A was an effective D-arabitol producer in the presence of 250 g/l glycerol and was identified as Candida quercitrusa based on morphological, physicochemical, and phylogenetic analyses. C. quercitrusa type strain NBRC1022 produced the greatest quantity of D-arabitol (41.7 g/l) when the ability to produce D-arabitol from raw glycerol was compared among C. quercitrusa 17-2A and its phylogenetically related strains in flask culture. Under optimized culture conditions, strain NBRC1022 produced D-arabitol at a concentration of 58.2 g/l after a 7-day cultivation in 250 g/l glycerol, 6 g/l yeast extract, and 2 g/l CaCl2. The culture conditions were further investigated with raw glycerol using a jar fermenter; the concentration of D-arabitol reached 67.1 g/l after 7 days and 85.1 g/l after 10 days, respectively, which corresponded to 0.40 g/g of glycerol. To our knowledge, the present D-arabitol yield from glycerol is higher than reported previously using microbial production.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 12/2013; DOI:10.1007/s00253-013-5449-x · 3.81 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mannosylerythritol (ME) is the hydrophilic backbone of mannosylerythritol lipids as the most promising biosurfactants produced by different Pseudozyma yeasts, and has been receiving attention as a new sugar alcohol. Different Pseudozyma yeasts were examined for the sugar alcohol production using glucose as the sole carbon source. P. hubeiensis KM-59 highly produced a conventional type of ME, i.e., 4-O-β-D-mannopyranosyl-D-erythritol (4-ME). Interestingly, P. tsukubaensis KM-160 produced a diastereomer of 4-ME, i.e., 1-O-β-D-mannopyranosyl-D-erythritol (1-ME). In shake flask culture with 200 g/l of glucose, strain KM-59 produced 4-ME at a yield of 33.2 g/l (2.2 g/l/day of the productivity), while strain KM-160 produced 1-ME at 30.0 g/l (2.0 g/l/day). Moreover, the two strains were found to produce ME from glycerol; the maximum yields of 4-ME and 1-ME from 200 g/l of glycerol were 16.1 g/l (1.1 g/l/day) and 15.8 g/l (1.1 g/l/day), respectively. The production of 1-ME as the new diastereomer was further investigated in fed batch culture using a 5-l jar-fermenter. Compared to the flask culture, strain KM-160 gave three times higher productivity of 1-ME at 38.0 g/l (6.3 g/l/day) from glucose and at 31.1 g/l (3.5 g/l/day) from glycerol, respectively. This is the first report on the selective production of two diastereomers of ME, and should thus facilitate the functional development and application of the disaccharide sugar alcohol in the food and relative industries.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 11/2013; DOI:10.1007/s00253-013-5376-x · 3.81 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To facilitate the development of bio-based chemicals from renewable and inexpensive natural resources, we sought to produce biosurfactants using non-edible jatropha oil. Twenty yeasts known to produce biosurfactants were tested in this study, and Stamerella bombicola NBRC 10243 was found to use jatropha oil efficiently to produce sophorolipids (SLs) as a mixture of lactone-form SL (L-SL) and acid-form SL (A-SL). Under culture conditions using rice bran as the source of organic nutrients, the yield of SLs reached 122.6 g/L in 5-L jar fermentors after 9 d in culture. HPLC analysis of the culture medium showed that the levels of phorbol esters (PEs), major toxic components of the oil, decreased markedly with an increase in culture time, suggesting that the yeast degrades PEs. Although the SLs obtained by solvent extraction of the culture medium contained a small amount of PEs, the sodium salt of A-SL (A-SL-Na) obtained by alkaline treatment (5N NaOH, 80°C) showed no PE peaks upon HPLC analysis. A-SL-Na had excellent surface activity with low CMC (9.0×10(-4) M) and γCMC (29.6 mN/m), which are lower than that of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). The solubilizing ability of A-SL-Na toward for octanoic acid ([octanoic acid]/[A-SL-Na]) was found to be 2.0, which is half that of SDS. Our findings should help improve SL production from non-edible feedstock and broaden the use of promising bio-based surfactants.
    Journal of oleo science 10/2013; 62(10):857-864. DOI:10.5650/jos.62.857 · 1.24 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs) are glycolipid biosurfactants produced by various yeasts belonging to the genus Pseudozyma, which exhibit excellent surface activities as well as versatile biochemical activities. A study on P. tsukubaensis NBRC1940 as a mono-acetylated MEL (MEL-B) producer revealed that the yeast accumulated a novel glycolipid from castor oil at a yield of 22 g/L. Its main chemical structure was identified as 1-O-β-(2'-O-alka(e)noyl-3'-O-hydroxyalka(e)noyl-6'-O-acetyl-D-mannopyranosyl)-D-erythritol designated as "new MEL-B." The new MEL-B, comprising a hydroxy fatty acid had a reduced surface tension of 28.5 mN/m at a critical micelle concentration (CMC) of 2.2×10(-5) M in water. The observed CMC was 5-fold higher than that of conventional MEL-B. When conventional MEL-B was dispersed in water, it self-assembled to form the lamellar (Lα) phase at a wide range of concentrations. In contrast, new MEL-B formed spherical oily droplets similar to the sponge (L3) phase, which is observed in aqueous solutions of di-acetylated MEL (MEL-A). The data suggest that the newly identified MEL-B is likely to have a different structure and interfacial properties compared to the conventional MELs, and could facilitate an increase in the application of glycolipid biosurfactants.
    Journal of oleo science 06/2013; 62(6):381-389. DOI:10.5650/jos.62.381 · 1.24 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Biosurfactants are surface-active compounds produced by microorganisms. Mannosylerythritol lipids (MEL) are promising biosurfactants produced by Ustilaginomycetes, and their physicochemical and biochemical properties differ depending on the chemical structure of their hydrophilic and/or hydrophobic moieties. To further develop MEL derivatives and expand their potential applications, we focused our attention on the use of cuttlefish oil, which contains polyunsaturated fatty acids (e.g., docosahexaenoic acid, C22:6, and eicosapentaenoic acid, C20:5, as the sole carbon source. Among the microorganisms capable of producing MEL, only nine strains were able to produce them from cuttlefish oil. On gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis, we observed that Pseudozyma churashimaensis OK96 was particularly suitable for the production of MEL-A, a MEL containing hexadecatetraenoic acid (C16:4) (23.6% of the total unsaturated fatty acids and 7.7% of the total fatty acids). The observed critical micelle concentration (CMC) and surface tension at CMC of the new MEL-A were 5.7×10(-6) M and 29.5 mN/m, respectively, while those of MEL-A produced from soybean oil were 2.7×10(-6) M and 27.7 mN/m, respectively. With polarized optical and confocal laser scanning microscopies, the self-assembling properties of MEL-A were found to be different from those of conventional MEL. Furthermore, based on the DPPH radical-scavenging assay, the anti-oxidative activity of MEL-A was found to be 2.1-fold higher than that of MEL-A produced from soybean oil. Thus, the newly identified MEL-A is attractive as a new functional material with excellent surface-active and antioxidative properties.
    Journal of oleo science 05/2013; 62(5):319-27. DOI:10.5650/jos.62.319 · 1.24 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs) are glycolipid biosurfactants abundantly produced by different basidiomycetous yeasts such as Pseudozyma, and show not only excellent interfacial properties but also versatile biochemical actions. These features of MELs make their application in new technology areas possible. Recently, the structural and functional variety of MELs was considerably expanded by advanced microbial screening methods. Different types of MELs bearing different hydrophilic and hydrophobic parts have been reported. The genes responsible for MEL biosynthesis were identified, and their genetic study is now in progress, aiming to control the chemical structure. The excellent properties leading to practical cosmetic ingredients, i.e., moisturization of dry skin, repair of damaged hair, activation of fibroblast and papilla cells and antioxidant and protective effects in skin cells, have been demonstrated on the yeast glycolipid biosurfactants. In this review, the current status of research and development on MELs, particularly the commercial application in cosmetics, is described.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 04/2013; DOI:10.1007/s00253-013-4858-1 · 3.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The basidiomycetous yeast Pseudozyma antarctica T-34 is an excellent producer of mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs), members of the multifunctional extracellular glycolipids, from various feedstocks. Here, the genome sequence of P. antarctica T-34 was determined and annotated. Analysis of the sequence might provide insights into the properties of this yeast that make it superior for use in the production of functional glycolipids, leading to the further development of P. antarctica for industrial applications.
    Genome Announcements 02/2013; 1(2):e0006413. DOI:10.1128/genomeA.00064-13
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cellobiose lipids (CLs) are bolaform glycolipid biosurfactants, which are produced from natural resources by a yeast strain and show fungicidal activity. In this study, the gelation properties of CL in solvents were investigated by several techniques including rheology and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The yeast CL was found to gelate 6 out of 26 solvents. Although it did not provide gels in ethanol or 1, 3-butanediol which are widely used for cosmetic industries, we succeeded in producing gels by mixing ethanol or 1, 3-butanediol with water. AFM observation of the gels on a silicon substrate provided 3D supramolecular structures with an entangled fibrous network. Moreover, it was also found that some of fibrous structures were twisted helical ribbons. This should be due to the cellobiose backbone having several chiral functional groups. The sol-gel phase transition temperatures for gels in mixed ethanol/water and 1, 3-butanediol/water systems were below 100°C, indicating that the gels can be obtained with rather mild preparation conditions. The present CL gels would be useful for novel multifunctional materials applicable to various industries.
    Journal of oleo science 11/2012; 61(11):659-64. DOI:10.5650/jos.61.659 · 1.24 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
203.23 Total Impact Points


  • 2006–2014
    • National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
      • Research Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Chemistry
      Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
  • 2009
    • University of Tsukuba
      Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
  • 2008
    • Tokyo University of Science
      • Department of Fire Science and Technology
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan
  • 2004–2008
    • Kagawa University
      • • Faculty of Agriculture
      • • Department of Life Sciences
      Takamatu, Kagawa, Japan
  • 2002–2004
    • Kochi University
      • Department of Bioresources Science
      Kōchi-shi, Kochi-ken, Japan