Continuous and recycling cultures were carried out with N402 wild-type and a glucoamylase overproducing transformant to investigate growth and product formation characteristics. In shake flask cultures, the amount of glucoamylase produced by the transformant was about five times more than by the wild-type strain. In contrast with these results, a twofold overproduction was found in glucose-limited continuous cultures, while no overproduction was found under maltodextrin-limitation. Two regions of specific growth rates could be distinguished, one at specific growth rates lower (domain I) and one at specific growth rates higher than 0.12 h (domain II). In domain I changes in mycelium morphology and conidia formation were observed. It has been concluded that maintenance requirements are dependent on the specific growth rate over the whole range of measured growth rates. The deviation in linearity in the linear equation of substrate utilization, caused by this phenomenon, should be considered when continuous cultures with filamentous fungi are performed. In recycling cultures, xylose as limiting carbon source repressed glucoamylase production very strongly. Under maltodextrin-limitation a fivefold overproduction was found. After about 150 h, the total amount of glucoamylase produced was still increasing, while total amount of product, measured as carbon, remained constant. After this time no increase in the amount of biomass formed was observed. These results suggest autolysis and cryptic growth taking place in a recycling fermenter and cell death rate equalling growth rate.


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