Kinetics of Xanthan Production When NH3-N Limits Biomass Synthesis and Glucose Limits Polysaccharide Synthesis

[+] Author and Article Information
R. W. Schweickart, A. V. Quinlan

Center for Biochemical Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University, Durham, NC 27706

J Biomech Eng 111(2), 166-172 (May 01, 1989) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3168359 History: Received September 12, 1988; Revised February 01, 1989; Online June 12, 2009


The bacterium Xanthomonas campestris , which synthesizes the commercially important polysaccharide xanthan, was grown aseptically in 1.2 L fermenters using semicontinuous cell culture technique (d′ = 0.0035 h−1 ). The effects of carbon-substrate concentration on xanthan production were investigated at three initial glucose concentrations (G0 = 15, 20, 25 g/L). Cell biomass synthesis was nitrogen-limited by use of a chemically defined medium that contained NH3 -N as the sole nitrogen source at a concentration where it was exhausted before glucose. A linear relationship between biomass synthesis and NH3 -N depletion was observed. This relationship remained valid only until NH3 -N exhaustion, after which biomass concentration slowly rose another 20 percent before declining. Another linear relationship was found between xanthan synthesis and glucose uptake. This relationship was unaffected by the disappearance of NH3 -N and held through glucose exhaustion. The quasi-stoichiometric yield coefficients obtained for each linear relationship were not affected by G0 . Biomass synthesis kinetics showed no variation with G0 before NH3 -N exhaustion; afterwards, cell biomass decline was delayed by increasing G0 . Xanthan synthesis kinetics displayed no detectable response to depletion of NH3 -N and plateauing of biomass concentration; however, there was a marked slow down in the net rate of xanthan synthesis and a drop in xanthan yield after cell biomass decline became noticeable.

Copyright © 1989 by ASME
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