biotechnology, fatty acid biosynthesis, Mortierella, zygomycetes
Besides their indispensable role as destruents in ecosystems, many fungi are valuable organisms for fermenting purposes in food industries, as producers of valuable bioorganic compounds, as degraders in remediation of contaminated sites. Often they increase performance and yields of crops after root colonization, and sometimes the same fungi may act as important pathogens for humans, livestock and crops. Several Mortierella species produce high amounts of polyunsaturated acids (PUFAs) and are therefore potential candidates for the biotechnological production of these compounds that play, among other things, a role as signalling molecules during inflammatory processes. This review focuses on the genus Mortierella and especially its benefits for technical, chemical and biological processes.