Journal article Open Access

Effect of Cultivation Parameters on Fermentation and Hydrogen Production in the Phylum Thermotogae

Lanzilli, Mariamichela; Esercizio, Nunzia; Vastano, Marco; Xu, Zhaohui; Nuzzo, Genoveffa; Gallo, Carmela; Manzo, Emiliano; Fontana, Angelo; d'Ippolito, Giuliana

The phylum Thermotogae is composed of a single class (Thermotogae), 4 orders (Thermotogales, Kosmotogales, Petrotogales, Mesoaciditogales), 5 families (Thermatogaceae, Fervidobacteriaceae, Kosmotogaceae, Petrotogaceae, Mesoaciditogaceae), and 13 genera. They have been isolated from extremely hot environments whose characteristics are reflected in the metabolic and phenotypic properties of the Thermotogae species. The metabolic versatility of Thermotogae members leads to a pool of high value-added products with application potentials in many industry fields. The low risk of contamination associated with their extreme culture conditions has made most species of the phylum attractive candidates in biotechnological processes. Almost all members of the phylum, especially those in the order Thermotogales, can produce bio-hydrogen from a variety of simple and complex sugars with yields close to the theoretical Thauer limit of 4 mol H2/ mol consumed glu-cose. Acetate, lactate, and L-alanine are the major organic end products. Thermotogae fermentation processes are influenced by various factors, such as hydrogen partial pressure, agitation, gas sparging, culture/headspace ratio, inoculum, pH, temperature, nitrogen sources, sulfur sources, inorganic compounds, metal ions, etc. Optimization of these parameters will help to fully unleash the biotechnological potentials of Thermotogae and promote their applications in industry. This article gives an overview of how these operational parameters could impact Thermotogae fermentation in terms of sugar consumption, hydrogen yields, and organic acids production.

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