A method for the continuous culture of microorganisms is described which employs growth-dependent pH changes to control the rate of addition of fresh medium to a culture vessel. The apparatus (the “phauxostat”) supports, at constant pH, longterm continuous culture at rates near or at the maximum of which the organisms are capable. The buffering capacity of the inflowing medium determines the steady-state population density of the culture, but the rate of growth is independent of the buffering capacity. The fundamental theory of operation is tested and some basic parameters of growth are estimated using Escherichia coli B growing continuously in media containing glucose, glycerol or DL-lactate.
Escherichia coli B Continuous culture “Phauxostat” Growth rate