Paraburkholderia sp. SOS3 is a plant growth-promoting bacterium (PGPB) that displays pleiotropic effects and has the potential to be applied at a large scale across several agronomically important crops. The use of SOS3 is a suitable option to reduce the use of chemical fertilisers. While the benefits of SOS3 have been demonstrated in vitro, its potential applications at large scale are limited due to low biomass yield in current batch culture systems. Here, we developed a strategy for high-cell density cultivation of SOS3 in instrumented bioreactors, moving from low-biomass yield in a complex medium to high-biomass yield in a semi-defined medium. We achieved a 40-fold increase in biomass production, achieving cell densities of up to 11 g/L (OD600 = 40). This result was achieved when SOS3 was cultivated using a fed-batch strategy. Biomass productivity, initially 0.02 g/L/h in batch cultures, was improved 12-fold, reaching 0.24 g/L/h during fed-batch cultures. The biomass yield was also improved 10-fold from 0.07 to 0.71 gbiomass/gsolids . Analysis of the fermentation profile of SOS3 indicated minimal production of by-products and accumulation of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) during the exponential growth phase associated with nitrogen limitation in the medium. By implementing proteomics analysis in fed-batch cultures, we identified the expression of four metabolic pathways associated with growth-promoting effects, which may be used as a qualitative parameter to guarantee the efficacy of SOS3 when used as a bioinoculant. Ultimately, we confirmed that the high-cell density cultures maintained their plant growth-promoting capacity when tested in sorghum and maize under glasshouse conditions.
- Plant growth-promoting bacteria
- Fed-batch cultivation