Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 95, Issue 6, pp 1541–1552 | Cite as

Adaptation dynamics of Clostridium butyricum in high 1,3-propanediol content media

  • Afroditi Chatzifragkou
  • George Aggelis
  • Chryssavgi Gardeli
  • Maria Galiotou-Panayotou
  • Michael Komaitis
  • Seraphim PapanikolaouEmail author
Applied microbial and cell physiology


Aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of exogenous additions of 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PDO) on microbial growth and metabolites production of Clostridium butyricum VPI 1718 strain, during crude glycerol fermentation. Preliminary batch cultures in anaerobic Duran bottles revealed that early addition of 1,3-PDO caused growth cessation in rather low quantities (15 g/L), while 1,3-PDO additions during the middle exponential growth phase up to 70 g/L resulted in an almost linear decrease of the specific growth rate (μ), accompanied by reduced glycerol assimilation, with substrate consumption being used mainly for energy of maintenance requirements. During batch trials in a 3-L bioreactor, the strain proved able to withstand more than 70 g/L of both biologically produced and externally added 1,3-PDO, whereas glycerol assimilation and metabolite production were carried on at a lower rate. Adaptation of the strain in high 1,3-PDO concentration environments was validated during its continuous cultivation with pulses of 1,3-PDO in concentrations of 31 and 46 g/L, where no washout phenomena were noticed. As far as C. butyricum cellular lipids were concerned, during batch bioreactor cultivations, 1,3-PDO addition was found to favor the biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids. Also, fatty acid composition was studied during continuous cultures, in which additions of 1,3-PDO were performed at steady states. Lipids were globally more saturated compared to batch cultures, while by monitoring of the transitory phases, it was noticed that the gradual diol washout had an evident impact in the alteration of the fatty acid composition, by rendering them more unsaturated.


Clostridium butyricum 1,3-Propanediol Crude glycerol Cellular lipids 



Financial support has been provided by the EU (FP7 Program “PROPANERGY—Integrated bioconversion of glycerine into value-added products and biogas at pilot plant scale”, Grant number: 212671).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Afroditi Chatzifragkou
    • 1
  • George Aggelis
    • 2
  • Chryssavgi Gardeli
    • 1
  • Maria Galiotou-Panayotou
    • 1
  • Michael Komaitis
    • 1
  • Seraphim Papanikolaou
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Food Science and TechnologyAgricultural University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Unit of Microbiology, Department of Biology, Division of Genetics, Cell and Development BiologyUniversity of PatrasPatrasGreece

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