The synthesis of extracellular enzymes by microorganisms frequently occurs under genetic control. A simple two-parameter model is developed describing the degree of repression or induction in fermentation media.
The case of substrate utilization by an extracellular enzyme was analyzed for a vegetable oil-lipase-yeast system. It is shown that fatty acids released by the lipase may accumulate in the early stage of growth and exert an influence on the limiting after which relatively little repression or induction takes place.
Expressions are also derived for growth and extracellular enzyme synthesis in single-and multistage continuous cultures. When the cells grow on a directly available soluble substrate, the specific enzyme synthesis is maximal at low dilution rates in the case of repression and at high dilution rates in the case of induction. If the substrate is not directly available, a single continuous stirred tank reactor stage may not be sufficient for efficient substrate utilization; for fermentation processes where an insoluble has to be broken down before the cells can assimilate it, a plug flow type fermentor rather than a mixed chemostat may prove more satisfactory.