In both natural and man-made environments, microorganisms live in mixed populations, while in laboratory conditions monocultures are mainly used. Microbial interactions are often described as antagonistic, but can also be neutral or cooperative, and are generally associated with a metabolic change of each partner and cause a change in the pattern of produced bioactive molecules. A. niger and A. oryzae are two filamentous fungi widely used in industry to produce various enzymes (e.g. pectinases, amylases) and metabolites (e.g. citric acid). The co-cultivation of these two fungi in wheat bran showed an equal distribution of the two strains forming mixed colonies with a broad range of carbohydrate active enzymes produced. This stable mixed microbial system seems suitable for subsequent commercial processes such as enzyme production. XlnR knock-out strains for both aspergilli were used to study the influence of plant cell wall degrading enzyme production on the fitness of the mixed culture. Microscopic observation correlated with quantitative PCR and proteomic data suggest that the XlnR Knock-out strain benefit from the release of sugars by the wild type strain to support its growth.
- Mixed culture
- Protein production