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Open Access Open Badges Original article

Co-cultivation of Lactobacillus zeae and Veillonella cricetifor the production of propionic acid

David Dietz13, Wael Sabra12 and An-Ping Zeng1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering, Hamburg University of Technology, Denickestr.15, 21071 Hamburg, Germany

2 Permanent address: Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

3 Present address: Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Polymer Research, , Geiselbergstr. 69, 14469 Potsdam, Germany

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AMB Express 2013, 3:29  doi:10.1186/2191-0855-3-29

Published: 24 May 2013


In this work a defined co-culture of the lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus zeae and the propionate producer Veillonella criceti has been studied in continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) and in a dialysis membrane reactor. It is the first time that this reactor type is used for a defined co-culture fermentation. This reactor allows high mixing rates and working with high cell densities, making it ideal for co-culture investigations. In CSTR experiments the co-culture showed over a broad concentration range an almost linear correlation in consumption and production rates to the supply with complex nutrients. In CSTR and dialysis cultures a strong growth stimulation of L. zeae by V. criceti was shown. In dialysis cultures very high propionate production rates (0.61 g L-1h-1) with final titers up to 28 g L-1 have been realized. This reactor allows an individual, intracellular investigation of the co-culture partners by omic-technologies to provide a better understanding of microbial communities.

Propionic Acid; Lactic Acid; Lactobacillus zeae; Veillonella criceti; Dialysis chamber reactor; Co-culture; Fermentation