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High-yield growth and magnetosome formation by Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense MSR-1 in an oxygen-controlled fermentor supplied solely with air

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Magnetotactic bacteria are difficult to grow under defined conditions in culture, which has presented a major obstacle to commercial application of magnetosomes. We studied the relationships among the cell growth, magnetosome formation, dissolved oxygen concentration (DO), and the ability to supply oxygen to the cells. Mass culture of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense MSR-1 for the production of magnetosomes was established in a 42-L fermentor under the following conditions: (1) sterile air was the sole gas supplied in the fermentor, and DO could be regulated at any level below 10% saturation by cascading the stir rate to DO, (2) to resolve the paradoxical situation that the cell growth requires higher DO whereas magnetosome formation requires low DO below the detectable range of regular oxygen electrode, DO was controlled to optimal level using the change of cell growth rate, rather than reading from the highly sensitive oxygen electrode, as the signal for determining appropriate DO, and (3) timing and rate of supplying the substrates were determined by measuring cell density and Na-lactate concentration. Under these conditions, cell density (OD565) of strain MSR-1 reached 7.24 after 60-h culture in a 42-L fermentor, and cell yield (dry weight) was 2.17 g/L, the highest yield so far being reported. The yield of magnetosomes (dry weight) was 41.7 mg/L and 16.7 mg/L/day, which were 2.8 and 2.7 times higher than the previously reported yields.

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This work was supported by the Chinese High Technology Research and Development Program (Grants No.2006AA02Z233 and 2007AA021804), and the Chinese National Science Foundation (Grant No. 30570023).

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Correspondence to Ying Li.

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Sun, J., Zhao, F., Tang, T. et al. High-yield growth and magnetosome formation by Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense MSR-1 in an oxygen-controlled fermentor supplied solely with air. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 79, 389 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-008-1453-y

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  • Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense
  • Magnetosome
  • Oxygen-controlled
  • Fermentor
  • Submerged culture