Microbial side-chain degradation of progesterone I: Optimization of the transformation conditions

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The microbial side-chain degradation of progesterone for the production of C-19 androgens was investigated. Thirty seven locally isolated fungal cultures were screened for their ability to degrade the side-chain of progesterone. Fusarium dimerum showed the greatest bioconversion efficiency and was selected for further studies. 50% of the substrate was converted to androstenedione after 24 hrs. 72 hrs old culture was able to produce maximum yields of testosterone, androstenedione and androstadienedione. The maximum conversion activities (90%) of progesterone were recorded at pH 7. The capacity of the fungus to degrade the side-chain of progesterone was greatly diminished on using high concentration of progesterone. The bioconversion estimates sharply decreased by using glucose syrup, corn steep liquor and glucose-corn steep media.

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