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A nonconventional two‐stage fermentation system for the production of aerial conidia of entomopathogenic fungi utilizing surface tension

Lopes, R.B., Faria, M., Glare, T.R.
Journal of applied microbiology 2019 v.126 no.1 pp. 155-164
Beauveria bassiana, Tenebrio molitor, conidia, entomopathogenic fungi, environmental factors, germination, glucose, industrial applications, insects, larvae, liquids, prototypes, solid state fermentation, sporulation, surface tension, yeast extract
AIM: To describe a new approach in which production of conidia of an entomopathogenic fungus takes place on the surface of an unstirred shallow liquid culture kept in nonabsorbent wells distributed in plastic sheets resembling a honeycomb. METHODS AND RESULTS: First, liquid incubation time and medium composition for production of Beauveria bassiana aerial conidia were optimized. Wells inoculated with Sabouraud dextrose yeast extract produced 2·2 × 10⁸ conidia per cm² of liquid surface following 5 days of incubation. Finally, tests were carried out in a prototype comprised of stacked plastic sheets in a cylindrical container. Conidia production on liquid culture surface varied from 1·2 to 1·6 × 10⁹ conidia per ml of fermented broth. Germination rates and insect activity towards Tenebrio molitor larvae were not negatively affected when compared to conidia produced on solid medium. CONCLUSIONS: The two‐stage fermentation process here described, based on a simple nonabsorbent inert support, has potential for the application in the production of aerial conidia of B. bassiana and other fungi. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: Aerial conidia are the most extensive propagule type used in commercial mycopesticides, traditionally produced by solid‐state fermentation (SSF). The industrial applications and other important benefits of the two‐stage fermentation process here described may overcome some hurdles inherent to SSF aiming for the production of aerial conidia. Additionally, production consistency is increased by the use of chemically defined medium, and the better control of the environmental conditions could allow for more reproducible industrial batches.