Energetics of growth and penicillin production in a high-producing strain of Penicillium chrysogenum

Biotechnol Bioeng. 2001 Jan 20;72(2):185-93. doi: 10.1002/1097-0290(20000120)72:2<185::aid-bit7>3.0.co;2-m.


The results of a large number of carbon-limited chemostat cultures of Penicillium chrysogenum carried out on glucose, ethanol, and acetate as the growth limiting substrate have been used to obtain an estimation of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) costs for mycelium growth, penicillin production, and maintenance and the overall stoichiometry of oxidative phosphorylation of the fungus. It was found that penicillin production was accompanied by a significant additional energy drain (73 mol of ATP per mole of penicillin-G) from primary metabolism. This finding has been confirmed in independent experiments and has been shown to result in a significantly lower estimate for the maximum theoretical yield of penicillin-G on the carbon source.

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / metabolism
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Ethanol / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Industrial Microbiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Penicillins / biosynthesis*
  • Penicillium chrysogenum / growth & development*
  • Penicillium chrysogenum / metabolism*
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Acetates
  • Penicillins
  • Ethanol
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Glucose
  • Oxygen