Archives of Microbiology
The ruminal cellulolytic bacterium Fibrobacter succinogenes S85 was grown in cellulose-fed continuous culture at 22 different combinations of dilution rate (D, 0.014–0.076 h-1) and extracellular pH (6.11–6.84). Effects of pH and D on the fermentation were determined by subjecting data on cellulose consumption, cell yield, product yield (succinate, acetate, formate), and soluble sugar concentrationto response surface analysis. The extent of cellulose conversion decreased with increasing D. First-order rate constants at rapid growth rates were estimated as 0.07–0.11 h-1, and decreased with decreasing pH. Apparent decreases in the rate constant with increasing D was not due to inadequate mixing or preferential utilization of the more amorphous regions of the cellulose. Significant quantities of soluble sugars (0.04–0.18 g/l, primarily glucose) were detected in all cultures, suggesting that glucose uptake was rather inefficient. Cell yields (0.11–0.24 g cells/g cellulose consumed) increased with increasing D. Pirt plots of the predicted yield data were used to determined that maintenance coefficient (0.04–0.06 g cellulose/g cells · h) and true growth yield (0.23–0.25 g cells/g cellulose consumed) varied slightly with pH. Yields of succinate, the major fermentation endproduct, were as high as 1.15 mol/mol anhydroglucose fermented, and were slightly affected by dilution rate but were not affected by pH. Comparison of the fermentation data with that of other ruminal cellulolytic bacteria indicates that F. succinogenes S85 is capable of rapid hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose and efficient growth, despite a lower μmax on microcrystalline cellulose.