Growth and lipid production of Umbelopsis isabellina on a solid substrate - Mechanistic modeling and validation

P. Meeuwse, A.J. Klok, S. Haemers, J. Tramper, A. Rinzema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Microbial lipids are an interesting feedstock for biodiesel. Their production from agricultural waste streams by fungi cultivated in solid-state fermentation may be attractive, but the yield of this process is still quite low. In this article, a mechanistic model is presented that describes growth, lipid production and lipid turnover in a culture of Umbelopsis isabellina on ¿-carrageenan plates containing the monomers glucose and alanine as C-source and N-source, respectively, and improves the understanding of the complex solid-state system. The model includes reaction kinetics and diffusion of glucose, alanine and oxygen. It is validated empirically and describes the different phases of the culture very well: exponential growth, linear growth because of oxygen limitation, accumulation of lipids and carbohydrates after local N-depletion and turnover of lipids after local C-depletion. Extending the model with an unidentified extracellular product improved the fit of the model to the data. The model shows that oxygen limitation is extremely important in solid-state cultures using monomers, and explains the difference in production rate with submerged cultures. However, the results also show that the specific lipid production rate in solid-state cultures is much lower than in submerged cultures, which results in a low lipid yield
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1228-1242
JournalProcess Biochemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • state fermentation system
  • gamma-linolenic acid
  • oleaginous fungi
  • diffusion-coefficients
  • biodiesel production
  • aspergillus-oryzae
  • chemostat model
  • oxygen
  • glucose
  • accumulation


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