Is an organic nitrogen source needed for cellulase production by Trichoderma reesei Rut-C30?

Divanery Rodríguez Gómez, Timothy John Hobley

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The effect of organic and inorganic nitrogen sources on Trichoderma reesei Rut-C30 cellulase production was investigated in submerged cultivations. Stirred tank bioreactors and shake flasks, with and without pH control, respectively, were employed. The experimental design involved the addition of individual organic nitrogen sources (soy peptone, glutamate, glycine and alanine) within a basal medium containing Avicel (i.e. micro crystalline cellulose) and ammonium sulphate. It was found that in the shake flask experiments, the highest cellulase activities (~0.1 ± 0.02 FPU ml−1) were obtained with media containing soy peptone (3–6 g l−1) and glutamate (3.6 g l−1). However, these improvements in the cellulase titers in the presence of the organic nitrogen sources appeared to be related to smaller changes in the pH of the medium. This was confirmed using stirred tank bioreactors with pH control. No significant differences were observed in the highest cellulase titers and the protein pattern (according to the SDS-PAGE) of supernatants from pH controlled stirred tank bioreactor cultivations, when different nitrogen sources were used in the medium. Here the cellulase activities (~1.0 ± 0.2 FPU ml−1) were also much greater (8–150 times) than in shake flask cultivation. Consequently, the addition of ammonium sulphate as sole nitrogen source to Avicel basal medium is recommended when performing cultivations in stirred tank bioreactors with strict pH controlled conditions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)2157-2165
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Fungal growth
  • Peptone
  • Shake culture
  • Bioreactors
  • Enzyme

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