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Introducing substrate limitations to overcome catabolite repression in a protease producing Bacillus licheniformis strain using membrane‐based fed‐batch shake flasks

To overcome catabolite repression, industrial fermentation processes are usually operated in substrate‐limited fed‐batch mode. Therefore, the implementation of such an operating mode at small scale is crucial to maintain comparable process conditions. In this study, Bacillus licheniformis, a well‐known producer of proteases, was cultivated with carbon (glucose)‐ and nitrogen (ammonium)‐limited fed‐batch conditions using the previously introduced membrane‐based fed‐batch shake flasks. A repression of protease production by glucose and ammonium was thus avoided and yields increased 1.5‐ and 2.1‐fold relative to batch, respectively. An elevated feeding rate of glucose caused depletion of ammonium, which was recognizable within the oxygen transfer rate (OTR) signal measured with the Respiration Activity MOnitoring System (RAMOS). Ammonium limitation was prevented by feeding ammonium simultaneously with glucose. The OTR signal clearly indicated the initiation of the fed‐batch phase and gave direct feedback on the nutrient release kinetics. Increased feeding rates of glucose and ammonium led to an elevated protease activity without affecting the protease yield (YP/Glu). In addition to YP/Glu, protease yields were determined based on the metabolized amount of oxygen urn:x-wiley:00063592:media:bit26948:bit26948-math-0001. The results showed that the protease production correlated with the amount of consumed glucose as well as with the amount of consumed oxygen. The membrane‐based fed‐batch shake flask in combination with the RAMOS device is a powerful combination to investigate the effect of substrate‐limited fed‐batch conditions.

Authors: Tobias Habicher; Arian John; Niklas Scholl; Andreas Daub; Tobias Klein; Priya Philip; Jochen Büchs

Journal: Biotechnology and Bioengineering

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