Author(s): Gao Q, Fang A, Pierson DL, Mishra SK, Demain AL
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Abstract Stress, including that caused by ethanol, has been shown to induce or promote secondary metabolism in a number of microbial systems. Rotating-wall bioreactors provide a low stress and simulated microgravity environment which, however, supports only poor production of microcin B17 by Escherichia coli ZK650, as compared to production in agitated flasks. We wondered whether the poor production is due to the low level of stress and whether increasing stress in the bioreactors would raise the amount of microcin B17 formed. We found that applying shear stress by addition of a single Teflon bead to a rotating wall bioreactor improved microcin B17 production. By contrast, addition of various concentrations of ethanol to such bioreactors (or to shaken flasks) failed to increase microcin B17 production. Ethanol stress merely decreased production and, at higher concentrations, inhibited growth. Interestingly, cells growing in the bioreactor were much more resistant to the growth-inhibitory and production-inhibitory effects of ethanol than cells growing in shaken flasks.
This article was published in Appl Microbiol Biotechnol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology