, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 117-122

Oxygen effect on batch cultures of Leuconostoc mesenteroides: relationship between oxygen uptake, growth and end-products

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Growth and lactose metabolism of a Leuconostoc mesenteroides strain were studied in batch cultures at pH 6.5 and 30° C in 101 modified MRS medium sparged with different gases: nitrogen, air and pure oxygen. In all cases, growth occurred, but in aerobiosis there was oxygen consumption, leading to an improvement of growth yield Y x/s and specific growth rate compared to anaerobiosis. Whatever the extent of aerobic growth, oxygen uptake and biomass production increased with the oxygen transfer rate so that the oxygen growth yield, Y x/o2, remained at a constant value of 11 g dry weight of biomass/mol oxygen consumed. Pure oxygen had a positive effect on Leuconostoc growth. Oxygen transfer was limiting under air, but pure oxygen provided bacteria with sufficient dissolved oxygen and leuconostocs were able to consume large amounts of oxygen. Acetate production increased progressively with oxygen consumption so that the total molar concentration of acetate plus ethanol remained constant. Maximal Y x/s was obtained with a 120 l/h flow rate of pure oxygen: the switch from ethanol to acetate was almost complete. In this case, a 46.8 g/mol Y x/s and a 0.69 h−1 maximal growth rate could be reached.