Dense growth of aerobic bacteria in a bench-scale fermentor



Escherichia coli B, Escherichia coli MRE 600, Escherichia coli K 12-3300, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Aerobacter aerogenes were grown exponentially in a bench-scale fermentor to cell concentrations in the range of 20 to 41 g dry cells/liter at 30°C and 30 to 55 g dry cells/liter at 25°C. The high cell concentrations were achieved in a growth system previously described for growth of Escherichia coli W (Biotechnol. Bioeng., 16, 933 (1974); ibid.17, 227 (1975)). Various enzyme activity levels in the high-concentration cells were compared to those in cells grown in conventional low-density cultures. No significant differences were found. The culture supernatants were found to be essentially free of high-molecular weight metabolic or cell lysis products. Yield constants for glucose, nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorus were also determined in the dense cultures and some of their relations to the growth conditions are discussed.