Synergistic effect of active oxygen species and alginate on chitinase production by Wasabia japonica cells and its application

J Biosci Bioeng. 2000;89(2):131-7. doi: 10.1016/s1389-1723(00)88726-5.


The specific chitinase productivity of a Wasabia japonica cell suspension culture under pure oxygen aeration was 3.8 times higher than that of a suspension culture aerated with ordinary air. During aeration with pure oxygen, both oxygen consumption by the cells and the H2O2 concentration in the medium increased. Addition of H2O2 to the cultivation medium also promoted the specific chitinase productivity. H2O2 could pass freely through the cell membrane. It was assumed that the excess oxygen was converted into active oxygen species such as H2O2, and that the promotion of chitinase production was probably due to the generated active oxygen species. Addition of alginate oligomer (AO, an endogenous elicitor-like substance) to cultures aerated with pure oxygen or supplemented with H2O2 resulted in synergistic increases in chitinase production. Based on these results, the development of a simple and efficient chitinase production system was investigated. Cells were immobilized in alginate gel (instead of adding AO to the medium) and cultivated in a medium containing H2O2. The specific chitinase productivity increased to the levels observed in the suspension culture system. During repeated batch cultivation of immobilized cells, the chitinase production remained stable for three repeated batches. When immobilized protoplasts were cultivated in a medium containing H2O2, there was 7-fold increase in chitinase production compared with that of immobilized cells.