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An investigation of agitation speed as a factor affecting the quantity and monomer distribution of alginate from Azotobacter vinelandii ATCC(A (R)) 9046

Moral, C. Kivilcimdan
Sanin, Faika Dilek
Alginate is a copolymer of beta-d-mannuronic and alpha-l-guluronic acids. Distribution of these monomers in the alginate structure is one of the important characteristics that affect the commercial value of the polymer. In the present work, the effect of agitation speed in the range of 200-700 rpm on alginate production by Azotobacter vinelandii ATCC(A (R)) 9046 was investigated at a dissolved oxygen tension of 5% of air saturation. Experiments were conducted in a fermentor operated in batch mode for 72 h while the production of biomass and alginate, the consumption of substrate and the change in culture broth viscosity and monomer distribution of the polymer were monitored. Results showed that the growth rate of the bacteria increased from 0.165 to 0.239 h(-1) by the increase of mixing speed from 200 to 400 rpm. On the other hand, alginate production was found to be the most efficient at 400 rpm with the highest value of 4.51 g/l achieved at the end of fermentation. The viscosity of culture broth showed similar trends to alginate production. Viscosity was recorded as 24.61 cP at 400 rpm while it was only 4.26 cP at 700 rpm. The MM- and GG-block contents were almost equal in most of the culture times at 400 rpm. On the other hand, GG-blocks dominated at both low and high mixing speeds. Knowing that GG-blocks make rigid and protective gels with divalent cations, due to the higher GG-block content, the gel formation potential is higher at 200 rpm as well at 700 rpm, which might originate from the unfavorable environmental conditions that the bacteria were exposed to.