Fed-batch fermentation of Tuber melanosporum for the hyperproduction of mycelia and bioactive Tuber polysaccharides.
In liquid culture conditions, the yeast-like fungus Tremella mesenterica occurs in the yeast state and synthesizes an exopolysaccharide (EPS) capsule, which is eventually released into the culture fluid. It is composed of an α-1,3-D-mannan backbone, to which β-1,2 side chains are attached, consisting of D-xylose and D-glucuronic acid. Potato dextrose broth (PDB) seemed to be an excellent medium for both growth of the yeast cells and synthesis of the EPS. This medium is composed solely of an extract of potatoes to which glucose was added. Yet an important disadvantage of this production medium is the presence of starch in the potato extract, since Tremella cells are not capable of metabolizing this component; furthermore, it coprecipitates upon isolation of the polymer . In this respect, it was essential to remove the starch in order to achieve high polysaccharide production and recovery. A good method was the removal of starch through ultrafiltration of the PDB medium before inoculation of the strain. This resulted in an excellent starch-free medium in which other components essential for polysaccharide production were still present . Through implementation of single and cyclic fed-batch fermentations with glucose feed, 1.6- and 2.2-fold increases in EPS yield were obtained, respectively. Lowering the carbon source level by using a cyclic fed-batch technique might decrease the osmotic effect of glucose or any catabolite regulation possibly exerted by this sugar on enzymes involved in EPS synthesis. Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology (2002) 29, 181–184 doi:10.1038/sj.jim.7000276