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Mass cultivation of Tetrahymena thermophila yielding high cell densities and short generation times


A cheap medium, composed of skimmed milk powder, yeast extract, and glucose, for mass cultivation of the protozoon Tetrahymena thermophila has been developed. Cell concentrations of 5 x 106 cells/ml and unprecedented short generation times of only 1.4 h were determined in batch cultures. During the exponential phase of growth, daughter cells initiated a new cell division even before the previous division had been completed, resulting in the formation of cell chains. Addition of glucose extended the stationary phase. Using a bench-top fermentor supplied with a digital control unit the utilization of nutrient components in batch culture was monitored. Milk protein and glucose were consumed completely, but lactose only partly.

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Correspondence to: A. Tiedtke

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Kiy, T., Tiedtke, A. Mass cultivation of Tetrahymena thermophila yielding high cell densities and short generation times. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 37, 576–579 (1992).

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  • Glucose
  • Lactose
  • Cell Concentration
  • Control Unit
  • Batch Culture