Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 60, Issue 3–4, pp 225–234 | Cite as

On multiple-nutrient-limited growth of microorganisms, with special reference to dual limitation by carbon and nitrogen substrates

  • Thomas Egli


Simultaneous limitation of microbial growth by two or more nutrients is discussed for dual carbon/nitrogen-limited growth in continuous culture. The boundaries of the zone where double-limited growth occurs can be clearly defined from both cultivation data and cellular composition and they can be also predicted from growth yield data measured under single-substrate-limited conditions. It is demonstrated that for the two nutrients carbon and nitrogen the zone of double nutrient limitation is dependent on both the C:N ratio of the growth medium and the growth (dilution) rate. The concept on double-(carbon/nitrogen)-limited growth presented here can be extended to other binary and multiple combinations of nutrients.

Key words

chemostat growth yield growth limitation multiple nutrient limitation carbon nitrogen 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Egli
    • 1
  1. 1.Swiss Federal Institute for Water Resources and Water Pollution Control (EAWAG)DübendorfSwitzerland

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