Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 100, Issue 14, pp 6501–6508 | Cite as

Production of high concentration of l-lactic acid from cellobiose by thermophilic Bacillus coagulans WCP10-4

  • Shufen Angeline Ong
  • Zhi Jian Ng
  • Jin Chuan Wu
Bioenergy and biofuels


Thermophilic Bacillus coagulans WCP10-4 is found to be able to convert cellobiose to optically pure l-lactic acid. Its β-glucosidase activity is detected in whole cells (7.3 U/g dry cells) but not in culture medium, indicating the intracellular location of the enzyme. Its β-glucosidase activity is observed only when cultured using cellobiose as the sole carbon source, indicating that the expression of this enzyme is tightly regulated in cells. The enzyme is most active at 50 °C and pH 7.0. The supplement of external β-glucosidase during fermentation of cellobiose (106 g/l) by B. coagulans WCP10-4 increased the fermentation time from 21 to 23 h and decreased the lactic acid yield from 96.1 to 92.9 % compared to the control without β-glucosidase supplementation. B. coagulans WCP10-4 converted 200 g/l of cellobiose to 196.3 g/l of l-lactic acid at a yield of 97.8 % and a productivity of 7.01 g/l/h. This result shows that B. coagulans WCP10-4 is a highly efficient strain for converting cellobiose to l-lactic acid without the need of supplementing external β-glucosidases.


Bacillus coagulans Bioreactors Cellobiose Fermentation Lactic acid Thermophiles 



This work was financially supported by the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) of Singapore (SERC grant no. 0921590133). Thanks are given to Ms. Crystal Tear, Ms. Tong Mei Teh and Mr. Mohammad Sufian Bin Hudari for the help in using HPLC and fermentor.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shufen Angeline Ong
    • 1
  • Zhi Jian Ng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jin Chuan Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Chemical and Engineering SciencesAgency for Sciences, Technology and Research (A*STAR)Jurong IslandSingapore
  2. 2.School of Applied Sciences, Republic PolytechnicSingaporeSingapore

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