Enhanced rapamycin production through kinetic and purification studies by mutant strain of Streptomyces hygroscopicus NTG-30-27

  • Subhasish Dutta
  • Biswanath Bhunia
  • Anish Raju
  • Namrata Maity
  • Apurba DeyEmail author
Original Paper


Research work was implemented to describe the kinetics of cell growth, substrate utilization and product formation using a mutant strain of Streptomyces hygroscopicus NTG-30-27 in a 3-L bioreactor under optimized condition. Various substrate inhibition mathematical models were applied and it was found that the cell growth and substrate utilization kinetic data fitted well to those models. Andrew’s kinetic model was fitted very well (R2 = 0.998) with our experimental data among different models tested for analysis whereas Luedeking–Piret model suggested that our product is mixed growth associated. The values for maximum specific growth rate (µmax), doubling time (td), saturation constant (KS), inhibition constant (KI) and yield coefficient (YX/S) were found to be 0.03985 h−1, 17.16 h, 2.076 g/l, 0.009 g/l and 0.290 g g−1. Final rapamycin yield with mutant strain was found to be 531.4 mg/l on its 5th day of fermentation which is 6.7-fold higher than the wild type (79.31 mg/l). The effect of aeration on rapamycin production was studied by batch fermentation in a stirred tank reactor (STR) using S. hygroscopicus NTG-30-27. Dynamic behaviour and aeration efficiency of the reactor, as well as rheology pattern of the fermentation broth, were determined by calculating volumetric mass transfer coefficient (KLa) of the process using “Dynamic gassing out method”. KLa was found to be 54.53 h−1 which is quite significant for rapamycin production. Further purification and structural analysis of the extracted sample were carried out by liquid chromatography–mass spectrophotometry (LC–MS) technique in positive ionization mode and molecular mass was found to be 936 D. Finally, 90.62% purified rapamycin was obtained from the study.


Rapamycin Luedeking–Piret model KLa Kinetics LC–MS 



Production rate (mg/l-hr−1)


Inhibition coefficient (g/l)


Volumetric mass transfer coefficient (hr−1)


Saturation constant (g/l)


Cell maintenance coefficient

P0, P, Pmax

Product concentration at 0th h of fermentation (mg/l), product concentration at any time of fermentation (mg/l), maximum product concentration at particular fermentation time (mg/l)


Regression coefficient

S0, S

Initial substrate concentration (g/l), limited substrate concentration (g/l)


Incubation time (hr)


Doubling time of cell (hr)


Liter per minute


Mechanistic target of rapamycin


Volume of air per volume of fermentation media per minute (m3)

X0, X, Xmax

Initial cell mass concentration (g/l), cell mass concentration at any time of fermentation (g/l), maximum attainable call mass concentration (g/l)


Growth yield coefficient per unit substrate consumed (g/g)

Greek symbols

µ, µmax

Specific growth rate (hr−1), maximum specific growth rate (hr−1)


Growth-associated product formation coefficient (mg/g)


Non-growth-associated product formation coefficient (mg/g-hr−1)



This work was financially supported by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India [Grant no.: 09/973(0012)/2014 EMR-I].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Subhasish Dutta
    • 1
  • Biswanath Bhunia
    • 2
  • Anish Raju
    • 3
  • Namrata Maity
    • 4
  • Apurba Dey
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyHaldia Institute of TechnologyHaldiaIndia
  2. 2.Department of BioengineeringNational Institute of Technology AgartalaBarjalaIndia
  3. 3.Bioprocess Lab, Department of Biochemical Engineering and BiotechnologyIndian Institute of Technology DelhiNew DelhiIndia
  4. 4.Department of BiotechnologyNational Institute of TechnologyDurgapurIndia

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