Summary: A pressure transducer was used to determine the accumulation of fermentation gases during growth of and on soluble (glucose) and particulate (cellulose and wheat straw) carbon sources. The anaerobic fungi were grown in submerged batch culture in gas-tight bottles using conventional anaerobic techniques. As the fermentation progressed, fermentation gases accumulated in the head-space of culture bottles causing an increase in the head-space gas pressure. Gas was measured and released using a pressure transducer connected to a digital readout voltmeter and gas-tight syringe assembly. By repeating this gas measurement-release procedure at regular intervals during the fermentation, and summation of the calculated (regression corresprected) gas volumes, gas accumulation profiles were constructed. For cultures grown on glucose, this technique enabled the growth of anaerobic fungi to be evaluated without destructive sampling of the fungal culture. The resultant gas accumulation profiles were related to glucose loss and biomass accumulation and could be used to determine specific growth rates, doubling times and fermentation gas yields. For cultures grown on cellulose and wheat straw, measurement of gas accumulation enabled growth phases and the course of the fermentation to be easily monitored. The results obtained establish the pressure transducer as an instrument for rapid, precise and reproducible determination of the growth of anaerobic fungi on soluble and particulate substrates.


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