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Filamentous fungi in microtiter plates - an easy way to optimize itaconic acid production with Aspergillus terreus

Itaconic acid is an important industrial building block and is produced by the filamentous fungi Aspergillus terreus. To make the optimization process more efficient, a scale-down from shake flasks to microtiter plates was performed. This resulted in comparable product formations, and 87.7 g/L itaconic acid was formed after 10 days of cultivation in the microtiter plate. The components of the minimal medium were varied independently for a media optimization. This resulted in an increase of the itaconic acid concentration by a variation of the KH2PO4 and CuSO4 concentrations. The cultivation with a higher KH2PO4 concentration in a 400-mL bioreactor showed an increase in the maximum productivity of 1.88 g/L/h, which was an increase of 74 % in comparison to the reference. Neither the phosphate concentration nor the nitrogen sources were limited at the start of the product formation. This showed that a limitation of these substances is not necessary for the itaconic acid formation.

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