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Optimization of the extraction and purification of the compatible solute ectoine from Halomonas elongate in the laboratory experiment of a commercial production project


Optimization of compatible solutes (ectoine) extraction and purification from Halomonas elongata cell fermentation had been investigated in the laboratory tests of a large scale commercial production project. After culturing H. elongata cells in developed medium at 28 °C for 23–30 h, we obtained an average yield and biomass of ectoine for 15.9 g/L and 92.9 (OD600), respectively. Cell lysis was performed with acid treatment at moderate high temperature (60–70 °C). The downstream processing operations were designed to be as follows: filtration, desalination, cation exchange, extraction of crude product and three times of refining. Among which the cation exchange and extraction of crude product acquired a high average recovery rate of 95 and 96%; whereas a great loss rate of 19 and 15% was observed during the filtration and desalination, respectively. Combined with the recovering of ectoine from the mother liquor of the three times refining, the average of overall yield (referring to the amount of ectoine synthesized in cells) and purity of final product obtained were 43% and over 98%, respectively. However, key factors that affected the production efficiency were not yields but the time used in the extraction of crude product, involving the crystallization step from water, which spended 24–72 h according to the production scale. Although regarding to the productivity and simplicity on laboratory scale, the method described here can not compete with other investigations, in this study we acquired higher purity of ectoine and provided downstream processes that are capable of operating on industrial scale.

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Correspondence to Junqing Qian.

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Chen, R., Zhu, L., Lv, L. et al. Optimization of the extraction and purification of the compatible solute ectoine from Halomonas elongate in the laboratory experiment of a commercial production project. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 33, 116 (2017).

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  • Cell disruption
  • Compatible solutes
  • Ectoine
  • Extraction
  • Halomonas elongata
  • Purification