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To study the effect of ethanol on morphology, lipid production and fatty acid profile of Mucor fragilis CCMI 142 cultures.Cell inhibition in shake flask cultures due to alcohol toxicity grew linearly from 0·418 mol 1−1 to 0·816 mol 1−1 ethanol corresponding to a decrease of specific growth rate. The growth inhibition constant took the value of 2·27 mol 1−1. The germination of fungal spores into hyphae is inhibited by concentrations from 0·418 mol 1−1 to 0·816 mol 1−1 ethanol. In this range, M. fragilis CCMI 142 spores form, exclusively, budding yeast-like cells instead of filaments. Below 0·418 mol 1−1 ethanol the formation of yeast-like cells was stimulated and there was a spore germination delay.The lipid content decreased as the concentration of ethanol increased, and was associated with an increase of unsaturated/saturated fatty acid ratio.The major conclusion of the study is the production of an enriched unsaturated fatty acids final product with particular emphasis to the presence of γ-linolenic acid (18:3ω6) a biologically active compound with a useful impact in nutraceutical science.