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Increasing-Aeration Strategy: a Practical Approach to Enhance the Schizophyllan Production and Improve the Operational Conditions of Schizophyllum commune Cultivation in the Stirred Tank and Bubble Column Bioreactors

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In the present study, the effect of employing the increasing- aeration strategy (IAS) in the oxygen-limited situation and proportionate to increasing oxygen demand of the fungus Schizophyllum commune (S. commune) has been investigated in both stirred tank (STB) and bubble column (BCB) bioreactors. The purpose was to enhance schizophyllan (SPG) production by preventing oxygen starvation, improve mixing conditions of pseudoplastic culture, and intensify shear stress on fungus pellets to release SPG. At first, a constant-aeration rate of 0.08 vvm was implemented in both bioreactors to evaluate the new strategy compared to the previously studied methods. In the second set of experiments with IAS, along with the increasing oxygen demand of culture, the inlet airflow was increased gradually, while the dissolved oxygen (DO) was maintained higher than zero and below 1%. Using IAS in STB significantly raised productivity by about 100% in 96 h from 0.035 to 0.073 g/L.h. Also, employing this strategy in BCB led to a 30% increase in the maximum SPG production from 3.2 to 4.2 g/L. IAS can effectively help handle the operation of S. commune cultivation on a large scale by improving mixing conditions, mass transfer, and shear stress in both bioreactor types. This method had a significant impact on STB cultivation and its productivity so that it can be a practical approach to SPG’s industrial production.

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Data availability

The data are available from the corresponding author on request.



Specific interfacial area (m−1)


Bubble column bioreactor


Constant-aeration strategy


Cell dry weight, g/L

\({d}_{b}\) :

Bubble diameter (m)

DL :

Diffusion coefficient (m2/s)


Dissolved oxygen (% air saturation)


Extracellular polysaccharides


Gravitational constant (m/s2)


Increasing-aeration strategy


Consistency index of broth

kL :

Mass transfer coefficient (s−1)


Power input under gassed condition (W)


Pellets diameter, mm


Potato dextrose agar




Stirred tank bioreactor


Time (h)

Vs :

Superficial gas velocity (m/s)


Aeration rate, Lair/Lliquid.min

Yp /s :

Product yield coefficient, g/g

Yx /s :

Cell mass yield coefficient, g/g

\({\alpha }_{r}\) :

Apparent yield stress to shear rate ratio

\(\gamma\) :

Shear rate (s−1)

\({\varepsilon }_{p}\) :

Pneumatic energy dissipation rate (W/kg)

\(\eta\) :

Apparent viscosity in power-law (mPa.s)

\(\phi\) :

Gas holdup

\({\mu }_{c}\) :

Viscosity according to the Casson model (Pa. s)

\(\rho\) :

Density (kg/m3)

\(\tau\) :

Shear stress (N/m2)

\({\tau}_{0}\) :

Apparent yield stress (N/m2)


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This work was financially supported by Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

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Authors and Affiliations



Kiyana Saeedian: Investigation, formal analysis, writing—original draft preparation, review and editing.

Seyed Abbas Shojaosadati: Supervision, funding acquisition, writing—review and editing.

Seyed Morteza Zamir: Advice, writing—review and editing.

Aref Mohammadi: Investigation.

All authors approved the publication of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Seyed Abbas Shojaosadati.

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Stirred tank bioreactor (STB) cultivation with the constant-aeration rate of 0.08 vvm; 6th hour: no significant difference was visible (MP4 7224 KB)

Stirred tank bioreactor (STB) cultivation with the constant-aeration rate of 0.08 vvm; 144th hour: By sedimentation of the pellets, the air dissolution decreased so that air channels occurred in bioreactor and the air bubbles transferred through channels made foam (MP4 4818 KB)

Stirred tank bioreactor (STB) cultivation with the increasing-aeration strategy (IAS); 96th hour: better mixing condition than constant-aeration strategy (CAS), starting pellets destruction (MP4 9658 KB)

Stirred tank bioreactor (STB) cultivation with the increasing-aeration strategy (IAS); 120th hour: cell fragments formation and cell contents release, undissolved air and foam formation (MP4 4271 KB)

Bubble column bioreactor (BCB) cultivation with the constant-aeration rate of 0.08 vvm; 4th hour: transparent medium with no significant difference (MP4 5452 KB)

Bubble column bioreactor (BCB) cultivation with the constant-aeration rate of 0.08 vvm; 168th hour: concentrated medium with settled pellets and air channels (MP4 4678 KB)

Bubble column bioreactor (BCB) cultivation with the increasing-aeration strategy (IAS); 168th hour: better mixing condition than constant-aeration strategy (CAS), pellets destruction, and cell fragment formation (MP4 4678 KB)

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Saeedian, K., Shojaosadati, S.A., Zamir, S.M. et al. Increasing-Aeration Strategy: a Practical Approach to Enhance the Schizophyllan Production and Improve the Operational Conditions of Schizophyllum commune Cultivation in the Stirred Tank and Bubble Column Bioreactors. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 194, 2284–2300 (2022).

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