The Production of the Enzyme Dextransucrase by Batch and Continuous Fermentation Techniques

  • N.J. Ajongwen-Numfor

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A review of the literature of work carried out on dextransucrase production, purification, immobilization and reactions has been carried out. A brief review has also been made of the literature concerning general enzyme biotechnology and fermentation technology. Fed-batch fermentation of the bacteria Leuconostoc mesenteroides NRRL B512 (F) to produce dextransucrase has formed the major part of this research. Aerobic and anaerobic fermentations have been studied using a 16 litre New Brunswick fermenter which has a 3-12 litre working volume. The initial volume of broth used in the studies was 6 litres. The results of the fed-batch fermentations showed for the first time that yields of dextransucrase are much higher under the anaerobic conditions than during the aerobic fermentations. Dextransucrase containing 300-350 DSU/cm3 of enzyme activity has been obtained during the aerobic fermentations, while in the anaerobic fermentations, enzyme yields containing 450-500 DSU/cm3 have been obtained routinely. The type of yeast extract used in the fermentation medium has been found to have significant effects on enzyme yield. Of the different types studied, the Gistex Standard was found to be the type that favoured the highest enzyme production. Studies have also been carried out on the effect of agitation rate and antifoam on the enzyme production during the anaerobic experiments. Agitation rates of up to 600 rpm were found not to affect the enzyme yield, however, the presence of antifoam in the medium led to a significant reduction in enzyme activity (less than 300 DSU/cm3). Scale-up of the anaerobic fermentations has been performed at up to the 1000 litre level with enzyme yields containing more than 400 DSU/cm3 of activity being produced. Some of the enzyme produced at this scale was used for the first time to produce dextran on an industrial scale via the enzyme route, with up to 99% conversion of sucrose to dextran being obtained. An attempt has been made at continuous dextransucrase production. Cell washout was observed to occur at dilution rates of greater than 0.4 h-1. Dextransucrase containing up to 25 DSU/cm3/h has been produced continuously.
Date of Award1988
Original languageEnglish


  • production
  • enzyme dextransucrase
  • batch
  • continuous fermentation

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