Serratia marcescens Simon Swift-1 (SS-1) was used to produce a prodigiosin-like pigment, undecylprodigiosin (UP), known to have antitumor activities and potential as an anticancer drug. Modified media containing components of Luria-Bertani (LB) broth and selected amino acids were used to improve UP production from S. marcescens SS-1. Optimal culture conditions (e.g., temperature, pH, agitation rate) for UP production were also identified. It was found that S. marcescens SS-1 was able to produce 690 mg l-1 of UP when it was grown with 5 g l-1 yeast extract alone (YE medium) under the optimal culture conditions of 30 degrees C, 200 rpm, and pH 8. The UP production of 690 mg l-1 is nearly 23-fold of that obtained from original LB medium. Addition of amino acids containing pyrrole-like structures further enhanced UP production. Nearly 2 and 1.4 g l-1 of UP was produced when the SS-1 strain was cultivated with YE medium supplemented with proline and histidine (5 g l-1), respectively. Moreover, the addition of aspartic acid (5 g l-1) also resulted in a high UP production of 1.4 g l-1. Optimal dosages of the three amino acids were subsequently determined and the highest UP production (2.5 g l-1) was achieved with the addition of 10 g l-1 of proline. This suggests that the supplementation of amino acids related to the formation of a UP precursor (e.g., pyrrolylpyrromethene) could enhance UP production by the SS-1 strain.