DNA plasmid production in different host strains of Escherichia coli

Original Paper


We compared plasmid DNA production in 13 strains of Escherichia coli in shake flasks using media containing glucose or glycerol. DNA yield from either carbon source showed small correlation with maximum growth rate. Three strains, SCS1-L, BL21 and MC4100, were selected for a controlled exponential fed-batch process at a growth rate of 0.14 h−1 to an optical density of about 70, followed by a four-hour heat treatment. Prior to heat treatment, SCS1-L generated 15.4 mg DNA/g, BL21 generated 11.0 mg DNA/g and MC4100 generated 7.9 mg DNA/g, while after heat treatment the strains attained DNA yields, respectively, of 18.0, 15.0 and 6.8 mg/g. The strains also varied in their percentage of supercoiled DNA after heat treatment, with SCS1-L averaging 66% supercoiled, BL21 17% and MC4100 40%. We further investigated the two strains that yielded the highest percentage of supercoiled DNA (SCS1-L and MC4100) at a higher growth rate of 0.28 h−1. At this condition, a slightly lower DNA yield was generated faster, and the percentage of supercoiled DNA increased. Heat treatment improved DNA yield, and surprisingly did so to a greater extent at the higher growth rate. As a consequence of these factors, higher growth rates might be advantageous for DNA production.


Fed-batch process Supercoiled DNA DNA yield Heat treatment 



The authors acknowledge S. E. Kushner at the University of Georgia for helpful advice, and Amanda Randall at Merial for help with the supercoiling analyses.


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Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Merial LtdAthensUSA
  2. 2.Center for Molecular BioEngineering, Driftmier EngineeringUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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