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Keywords:

  • Gene expression monitoring;
  • Microbial bioprocesses;
  • Nutrient limitation;
  • Physical stress;
  • Scale-up

Abstract

The optimization and the scale up of industrial fermentation processes require an efficient and possibly comprehensive analysis of the physiology of the production system throughout the process development. Furthermore, to ensure a good quality control of established bioprocesses, on-line analysis techniques for the determination of marker gene expression are of interest to monitor the productivity and the safety of bioprocesses. A prerequisite for such analyses is the knowledge of genes, the expression of which is critical either for the productivity or for the performance of the bioprocess. This work reviews marker genes that are specific indicators for stress- and nutrient-limitation conditions or for the physiological status of the bacterial production hosts Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis and Escherichia coli. The suitability of existing gene expression analysis techniques for bioprocess monitoring is discussed. Analytical approaches that enable a robust and sensitive determination of selected marker mRNAs or proteins are presented.