Microtiter plate-based cultivation to investigate the growth of filamentous fungi

I. Huth, D. Holtmann, J. Schrader

Microscale bioprocessing techniques are rapidly emerging as a means to increase the speed of bioprocess design and to reduce material consumption. However, there is still a lack of suitable parallelized techniques to investigate the industrially important group of filamentous bacteria and fungi. Cultivation of filamentous organisms in shake flasks is still the favored technique for comparing and optimizing cultivation conditions of production strains at mL-scale. In this paper, the application of a microtiter plate-based cultivation system in combination with the filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger was investigated. A protocol for reproducible cultivation was developed and evaluated. Productivity of A. niger concerning the rose-like aroma compound 2-phenylethanol showed low standard deviations while regular and consistent morphologies appeared in the parallelized system. Furthermore, the effect of addition of microparticles on the morphology was investigated. The results can be used to accelerate the process development with A. niger and other filamentous organisms.

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