The Development Of Inocula For Bacterial Processes

The main objective of inoculum development for traditional bacterial fermentations is to produce an active inoculum which will give as short a lag phase as possible in subsequent culture. A long lag phase is disadvantageous in that not only is time wasted but also medium is consumed in maintaining a viable culture prior to growth. The length of the lag phase is affected by the size of the inoculum and its physiological condition (Meyrath and Suchanek, 1972). As already stated, the inoculum size normally ranges between 3 and 10% of the culture volume. Lincoln (1960) stressed that bacterial inocula should be transferred in the logarithmic phase of growth, when the cells are still metabolically active. The age of the inoculum is particularly important in the growth of sporulating bacteria, for sporulation is induced at the end of the logarithmic phase and the use of an inoculum containing a high percentage of spores would result in a long lag phase in a subsequent fermentation.

Keay et al. (1972) quote the use of a 5% inoculum of a logarithmically growing culture of a thermophilic Bacillus for the production of proteases. Aunstrup (1974) described a two-stage inoculum development programme for the production of proteases by Bacillus subtilis. Inoculum for a seed fermenter was grown for 1

Stage PC1

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