Efficient cellulase production by Trichoderma reesei in continuous cultivation on lactose medium with a computer-controlled feeding strategy

Michael Bailey (Corresponding Author), Juha Tähtiharju

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    87 Citations (Scopus)


    A low-foaming hydrophobin II deletant of the Trichoderma reesei strain Rut-C30 was used for production of cellulases by continuous cultivation on lactose medium in a laboratory fermenter. The control paradigm of the addition of new medium to the continuous process was based on the growth dynamics of the fungus. A decrease in the rate of base addition to the cultivation for pH-minimum control was used as an indicator of imminent exhaustion of carbon source for growth and enzyme induction. When the amount of base added per 5 min computation cycle decreased below a given value, new medium was added to the fermenter. When base addition for pH control thereafter increased above the criterion value, due to increased growth, the medium feed was discontinued or decreased. The medium feeding protocol employed was successful in locking the fungus in the stage of imminent, but not actual, exhaustion of carbon source. According to the results of a batch cultivation of the same strain on the same medium, this is the phase of maximal enzyme productivity. The medium addition protocol used in this work resulted in a very stable continuous process, in which cellulase productivity was maintained for several hundred hours at the maximum level observed in a batch cultivation for only about 10 h. Despite a major technical disturbance after about 420 h, the process was restored to stability. When the cultivation was terminated after 650 h, the level of enzyme production was still maximal, with no signs of instability of the process.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)156-162
    Number of pages7
    JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
    Issue number2-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2003
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Trichoderma reesei
    • cellulase
    • enzyme production


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