SUMMARY: usually produces a stable viscous glucan during submerged culture fermentations. A new strain 139/2/1 G of the fungus, which subsequently autolysed this glucan to glucose, was studied and the autolysis ascribed to a constitutive β1 3 glucanase and a β-glucosidase which were detected as soon as the fungal hyphae differentiated to a sclerotial form. The glucanase production followed a sigmoid pattern, reaching a maximum within 12 days, and the liberated glucose contributed to renewed growth towards the end of the fermentation. A sucrase and a maltase were also detected. Maximum glucan autolysis was achieved by using a large spore inoculum. This maintained minimal viscocity throughout the fermentation and, by maintaining adequate aeration, has since facilitated ergot alkaloid production by the organism.


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