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Biotechnol Bioeng. 1989 Jan 15;33(3):313-20.

A simple, leaky cell growth model for plant cell aggregates.

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Chemical Engineering Department, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, USA.


A simple growth model is proposed for plant cell aggregates which accounts for leakage of a single intermediate metabolite from the aggregates to the medium. This model predicts a lag phase in the growth curve whose extent is determined by the intermediate metabolite leakage coefficient and its equilibrium distribution coefficient between the medium and the cell aggregates, the size of the inoculum relative to the system total water content, and the initial intermediate metabolite content in the medium. The model thus provides for an interaction between growing plant cells and their environment in a way that has heretofore been unquantified. Preliminary validation of the model has been made against literature data of Dioscorea deltoidea grown in batch suspension cell culture on sucrose, yielding a correlation coefficient of 0.997. The predicted glucose + fructose concentration in the medium agrees reasonably well with experimental measurements after ca, 3.5 days of culture, although a discrepancy exists between model prediction and experiment immediately after startup. Further validation of the model is suggested on this and other plant species.


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