The production of hemicellulases by Thermomyces lanuginosus strain SSBP: Influence of agitation and dissolved oxygen tension
Shake-flask cultivation of T. lanuginosus strain SSBP on coarse corn cobs yielded β-xylanase levels of 56,500 nkat/ml at 50 °C, whereas other hemicellulases (β-xylosidase, β-glucosidase, and α-L-arabinofuranosidase) were produced at levels less than 7 nkat/ml. Cultivation on D-xylose yielded much lower levels of xylanase (350 nkat/ml), although other hemicellulase levels were similar to those produced on corn cobs. The influence of agitation rate and dissolved oxygen tension (DOT) on hemicellulase production was studied further in a bioreactor. On xylose, xylanase activities of 4,330 nkat/ml and 4,900 nkat/ml were obtained at stirrer speeds up to 1,400 rpm to control DOT. At a constant stirrer speed of 400 rpm, xylanase activities of 10,930 nkat/ml and 15,630 nkat/ml were obtained when cultivated on xylose and beechwood xylan respectively, despite DOT levels below 5% for the duration of fermentation. The results indicate that there is an interaction between agitation rate and DOT, impacting on xylanase and accessory enzyme production. Higher agitation rates favoured the production of xylosidase, arabinofuranosidase and glucosidase by T. lanuginosus strain SSBP, whereas the lower agitation rates favoured xylanase production. Rheological difficulties precluded cultivation on corn cobs in the bioreactor. Volumetric xylanase productivities of 1,060,000 nkat/l·h and 589,000 nkat/l·h obtained on beechwood xylan and xylose indicate that T. lanuginosus strain SSBP is a hyperxylanase producer with considerable industrial potential.