, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 255-265

Improvement of Nitrogen Supply for L-Threonine Production by a Recombinant Strain of Serratia marcescens

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Serratia marcescens T-2000 was previously reported to be an l-threonine-producing strain that harbors the recombinant plasmid carrying the mutant-type threonine operon. This strain produced 55 g of l-threonine/L of the medium containing urea as a nitrogen source after 72 h of cultivation. In the urea-containing medium, transitory stop of the growth was observed during the early period of cultivation when the entire amount of ammonium ion formed from urea via heat decomposition disappeared in the medium. This indicated that the shortage of ammonium supply in cells might delay both the cell growth and the l-threonine production. The use of ammonia water as a nitrogen source for l-threonine production was therefore studied, because microbial cells generally assimilate this source more readily than urea. When ammonia water was automatically fed to the medium so as to maintain the pH of the medium at around 7, the growth was accelerated, and the l-threonine production reached a maximum of 65 g/L at 48 h. Under these conditions, sucrose, a carbon source, was continuously fed to the medium, resulting in the production of 100 g of l-threonine/L at 96 h. Thus, the l-threonine productivity of the recombinant l-threonine-producing strain could be increased by devising the method for supply of a nitrogen source.