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J Biotechnol. 1991 Aug;20(1):17-27.

High cell density cultivation of Escherichia coli at controlled specific growth rate.

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  • 1ZIMET, Institut für Mikrobiologie und Experimentelle Therapie, Jena, F.R.G.


A high cell density cultivation (HCDC) for growth of Escherichia coli in an especially designed glucose/mineral salt medium is proposed. The HCDC essentially starts as a batch process which is followed by a two-phase fed-batch cultivation. After unlimited growth at mu max = 0.45 h-1 in the batch part, growth was controlled at a reduced specific growth rate (mu = 0.11 h-1 less than mu max) over a period of 3 doubling times in which the biomass concentration increased from 12 to 95 g 1(-1) (phase 1 of fed-batch cultivation). Control of growth (mu) was realized by a PO2 control loop (by variation of glucose feeding) and a mu control loop (by variation of agitation speed N) while the actual mu was calculated from the off-gas composition. If the agitation rate cannot be increased anymore the mu controller is switched off (end of phase 1). In the following phase 2, mu declines, however, the still acting pO2 (glucose) controller guarantees sufficient O2 supply till the end of the cultivation with a biomass concentration of 110 g 1(-1) (dry mass). The proposed HCDC suppresses generation of inhibitory by-products and the high yield coefficients indicate the economy of the process.

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