High throughput, small scale methods to characterise the growth of marine fungi

Anu Tamminen, Petrus Happonen, Dorothee Barth, Sami Holmström, Marilyn G. Wiebe (Corresponding Author)

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Abstract

Various marine fungi have been shown to produce interesting, bioactive compounds, but scaling up the production of these compounds can be challenging, particularly because little is generally known about how the producing organisms grow. Here we assessed the suitability of using 100-well BioScreen plates or 96-well plates incubated in a robot hotel to cultivate eight filamentous marine fungi, six sporulating and two non-sporulating, to obtain data on growth and substrate (glucose, xylose, galactose or glycerol) utilisation in a high throughput manner. All eight fungi grew in both cultivation systems, but growth was more variable and with more noise in the data in the Cytomat plate hotel than in the BioScreen. Specific growth rates between 0.01 (no added substrate) and 0.07 h-1 were measured for strains growing in the BioScreen and between 0.01 and 0.27 h-1 for strains in the plate hotel. Three strains, Dendryphiella salina LF304, Penicillium chrysogenum KF657 and Penicillium pinophilum LF458, consistently had higher specific growth rates on glucose and xylose in the plate hotel than in the BioScreen, but otherwise results were similar in the two systems. However, because of the noise in data from the plate hotel, the data obtained from it could only be used to distinguish between substrates which did or did not support growth, whereas data from BioScreen also provided information on substrate preference. Glucose was the preferred substrate for all strains, followed by xylose and galactose. Five strains also grew on glycerol. Therefore it was important to minimise the amount of glycerol introduced with the inoculum to avoid misinterpreting the results for growth on poor substrates. We concluded that both systems could provide physiological data with filamentous fungi, provided sufficient replicates are included in the measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0236822
Pages (from-to)e0236822
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume15
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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