Cephalosporins are currently the most widely used antibiotics in clinical practice. The main strain used for the industrial production cephalosporin C (CPC) is Acremonium chrysogenum. CPC has the advantages of possessing a broad antibacterial spectrum and strong antibacterial activity. However, the yield and titer of cephalosporins obtained from A. chrysogenum are much lower than penicillin, which is also a β-lactam antibiotic produced by Penicillium chrysogenum. Molecular biology research into A. chrysogenum has focused on gene editing technologies, multi-omics research which has provided information on the differences between high- and low-yield strains, and metabolic engineering involving different functional genetic modifications and hierarchical network regulation to understand strain characteristics. Furthermore, optimization of the fermentation process is also reviewed as it provides the optimal environment to realize the full potential of strains. Combining rational design to control the metabolic network, high-throughput screening to improve the efficiency of obtaining high-performance strains, and real-time detection and controlling in the fermentation process will become the focus of future research in A. chrysogenum. This minireview provides a holistic and in-depth analysis of high-yield mechanisms and improves our understanding of the industrial value of A. chrysogenum. KEY POINTS: • Review of the advances in A. chrysogenum characteristics improvement and process optimization • Elucidate the molecular bases of the mechanisms that control cephalosporin C biosynthesis and gene expression in A. chrysogenum • The future development trend of A. chrysogenum to meet industrial needs.

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