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Ninety six well microtiter plate as microbioreactors for production of itaconic acid by six Aspergillus terreus strains

Badal C. Saha, Gregory J. Kennedy
Journal of microbiological methods 2018 v.144 pp. 53-59
Aspergillus terreus, arabinose, biomass, fermentation, fungi, glucose, hydrolysates, lignocellulose, liquids, microbial growth, pentoses, wheat straw, xylose
Itaconic acid (IA) is a building block platform chemical that is currently produced industrially from glucose by fermentation with Aspergillus terreus. However, lignocellulosic biomass has the potential to serve as low cost source of sugars for production of IA. Previously, 100 A. terreus strains were evaluated for production of IA from pentose sugars in shake-flasks. Six selected strains were then investigated for IA production in shake-flasks. But none of the strains grew and produced IA using biomass hydrolyzates. In order to study the factors inhibiting fungal growth and IA production, we have evaluated these six strains for sugar utilization and IA production from glucose, xylose, arabinose, mixed sugars, and both dilute acid and liquid hot water pretreated wheat straw hydrolyzates in microtiter plate (MTP) microbioreactors at 100μL scale. The results clearly indicate that MTP is very useful as a convenient, reliable and affordable platform to investigate the reasons for inhibition of growth and IA production by the A. terreus strains and should greatly aid in strain development and optimization of IA production by the fungal strains.