Improvement of culture conditions to overproduce β-galactosidase from Escherichia coli in Bacillus subtilis
The effect of some culture variables in the production of β-galactosidase from Escherichia coli in Bacillus subtilis was evaluated. The lacZ gene was expressed in B. subtilis using the regulatory region of the subtilisin gene aprE. The host contained also the hpr2 and degU32 mutations, which are known to overexpress the aprE gene. We found that, when this overproducing B. subtilis strain was grown in mineral medium supplemented with glucose (MMG), β-galactosidase production was partially growth-associated, as 40%–60% of the maximum enzyme activity was produced before the onset of the stationary phase. In contrast, when a complex medium was used, β-galactosidase was produced only at low levels during vegetative growth, whereas it accumulated to high levels during early stationary phase. Compared with the results obtained in complex media, a 20% increase in specific β-galactosidase activity in MMG supplemented with 11.6 g/l glucose was obtained. On the 1-l fermenter scale, a threefold increase in volumetric β-galactosidase activity was obtained when the glucose concentration was varied from 11 g/l to 26 g/l. In addition, glucose feeding during the stationary phase resulted in a twofold increase in volumetric enzyme activity as cellular lysis was prevented. Finally, we showed that oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide evolution rates can be used for on-line determination of the onset of stationary phase, glucose depletion and biomass concentration.
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