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J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 2000 Jan;2(1):115-24.

Comparative fermentation studies of industrial strains belonging to four species of solvent-producing clostridia.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.


Industrial and culture collection strains of solvent-producing clostridia, classified as Clostridium acetobutylicum, Clostridium beijerinckii, Clostridium saccharobutylicum, and Clostridium saccharoperbutylacetonicum were utilised in a comparative study of fermentation performance in a laboratory fermentation medium, a molasses fermentation medium, and a maize fermentation medium under standardised culture conditions. At least one representative strain was selected from each of the sub-groups within the four species. Preliminary evaluations were first undertaken for the three different fermentation media to determine the most appropriate media formulations, carbohydrate concentrations, and culture conditions for comparison of the solvent-producing ability of these strains. Standardised fermentation media and culture conditions were then selected for each of the comparative fermentation studies. These included TYA medium containing 4% glucose, a supplemented molasses medium containing 6% fermentable sugars, and a supplemented maize mash medium containing 8% maize. Additional comparative fermentation studies on industrial strains belonging to two species of solvent-producing clostridia were carried out in molasses containing higher concentrations of fermentable sugars, and the sugar concentrations supporting maximum levels of solvent production were determined. Although all the strains tested grew in the maize fermentation medium and degraded starch, only a few strains produced consistently high solvent levels. Optimum starch utilisation and solvent production was obtained at a maize concentration of 80 g/l. Pretreatment of the maize by milling or saccharification decreased the buffering capacity of the medium and resulted in decreased solvent production. Decreasing the time used to gelatinise the starch had little effect. Solvent yields and concentrations obtained in this study were compared with various published data in the scientific and patent literature and appeared to closely simulate the results obtained in the industrial fermentation process. The fermentation performances of individual strains could provide useful comparative data for the selection and development of strains for use on various commercial fermentation substrates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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