methanol monitoring and control
methylotrophic yeast fermentation
Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology
The methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris can be used to express recombinant genes at high levels under the control of the methanol-inducible alcohol oxidase 1 (AOX1) promoter. Accurate regulation of the methanol concentration in P. pastoris cultures is necessary to maintain induction, while preventing accumulation of methanol to cytotoxic levels. We developed an inexpensive methanol sensor that uses a gas-permeable silicone rubber tube immersed in the culture medium and an organic solvent vapor detector. The sensor was used to monitor methanol concentration continuously throughout a fed-batch shake-flask culture of a P. pastoris clone producing the N-lobe of human transferrin. The sensor calibration was stable for the duration of the culture and the output signal accurately reflected the methanol concentration determined off-line by HPLC. A closed-loop control system utilizing this sensor was developed and used to maintain a 0.3% (v/v) methanol concentration in the culture. Use of this system resulted in a fivefold increase in volumetric protein productivity over levels obtained using the conventional fed-batch protocol. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Biotechnol Bioeng 56: 279-286, 1997.
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