Development of a simple intensified fermentation strategy for growth of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense MSR-1: physiological responses to changing environmental conditions

Alfred Fernández-Castané, Hong Li, Owen Thomas, Timothy Overton

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The development of a simple pH-stat fed-batch fermentation strategy for the production of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense MSR-1 and magnetosomes (nanoscale magnetic organelles with biotechnological applications) is described. Flow cytometry was exploited as a powerful analytical tool for process development, enabling rapid monitoring of cell morphology, physiology and polyhydroxyalkanoate production. The pH-stat fed-batch growth strategy was developed by varying the concentrations of the carbon source (lactic acid) and the alternative electron acceptor (sodium nitrate) in the feed. Growth conditions were optimized on the basis of biomass concentration, cellular magnetism (indicative of magnetosome production), and intracellular iron concentration. The highest biomass concentration and cellular iron content achieved were an optical density at 565 nm of 15.5 (equivalent to 4.2 g DCW·L-1) and 33.1 mg iron·g-1 DCW, respectively. This study demonstrates the importance of analyzing bacterial physiology during fermentation development and will potentially aid the industrial production of magnetosomes, which can be used in a wide range of biotechnology and healthcare applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-30
Number of pages9
JournalNew Biotechnology
Early online date1 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2018


  • Magnetosomes
  • Flow cytometry
  • Physiology of magnetotactic bacteria
  • pH-stat fermentation


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