Morphology and productivity of filamentous fungi

  • L. H. Grimm
  • S. Kelly
  • R. Krull
  • D. C. HempelEmail author


Cultivation processes involving filamentous fungi have been optimised for decades to obtain high product yields. Several bulk chemicals like citric acid and penicillin are produced this way. A simple adaptation of cultivation parameters for new production processes is not possible though. Models explaining the correlation between process-dependent growth behaviour and productivity are therefore necessary to prevent long-lasting empiric test series. Yet, filamentous growth consists of a complex microscopic differentiation process from conidia to hyphae resulting in various macroscopically visible appearances. Early approaches to model this morphologic development are recapitulated in this review to explain current trends in this area of research. Tailoring morphology by adjusting process parameters is one side of the coin, but an ideal morphology has not even been found. This article reviews several reasons for this fact starting with nutrient supply in a fungal culture and presents recent advances in the investigation of fungal metabolism. It illustrates the challenge to unfold the relationship between morphology and productivity.


Filamentous Fungus Itaconic Acid Metabolic Flux Analysis Citric Acid Production Hyphal Length 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Financial support was provided by the German Research Foundation (DFG) through the collaborative research centre SFB 578 - “From gene to product” at the TU Braunschweig.


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© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. H. Grimm
    • 1
  • S. Kelly
    • 1
  • R. Krull
    • 1
  • D. C. Hempel
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Biochemical EngineeringTechnical University of BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany

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