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J Biotechnol. 1999 Oct 8;75(2-3):147-59.

Rational medium design for Bordetella pertussis: basic metabolism.

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National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Laboratory for Product and Process Development, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


In current Bordetella pertussis media ammonium accumulates because of an imbalance in the nitrogen:carbon ratio of the substrates used, which is one of the factors limiting cell density in fed-batch cultures. The aim of this study was to map B. pertussis catabolic and anabolic capabilities, in order to design a medium that avoids ammonium accumulation, while substrates are metabolised completely. Besides the known dysfunctional glycolysis, B. pertussis also possessed a partially dysfunctional citric-acid cycle. Although ammonium accumulation was avoided by adding various carbon sources to medium with glutamate, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) showed excretion of acetate, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxy-butyrate, thereby reducing the biomass yield. Acetoacetate and beta-hydroxy-butyrate were also formed in Verwey, B2 and modified Stainer-Scholte medium. Electron microscopy in combination with NMR showed that cells early on in these cultures contained poly-hydroxy-butyrate (PHB) globules, which disappeared later during the culture, coinciding with the appearance of beta-hydroxy-butyrate and/or acetoacetate. No globules nor metabolite excretion was detected when lactate in combination with glutamate were used as substrates. Thus, metabolite excretion and ammonium accumulation were avoided, while the yield of 8.8 g C-mol-1 compared favourably with literature values, averaging 6.5 g C-mol-1. Optimisation of this medium for pertussis toxin production will be reported in a separate article.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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