Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2022 Jul 30. doi: 10.1007/s00253-022-12087-7. Online ahead of print.
In the present work, the approaches of submerged co-cultivation and microparticle-enhanced cultivation (MPEC) were combined and evaluated over the course of three case studies. The filamentous fungus Aspergillus terreus was co-cultivated with Penicillium rubens, Streptomyces rimosus, or Cerrena unicolor in shake flasks with or without the addition of aluminum oxide microparticles. The influence of microparticles on the production of lovastatin, penicillin G, oxytetracycline, and laccase in co-cultures was compared with the effects recorded for the corresponding monocultures. In addition, the quantitative analyses of morphological parameters, sugars consumption, and by-products formation were performed. The study demonstrated that the influence of microparticles on the production of a given molecule in mono- and co-culture may differ considerably, e.g., the biosynthesis of oxytetracycline was shown to be inhibited due to the presence of aluminum oxide in “A. terreus vs. S. rimosus” co-cultivation variants but not in S. rimosus monocultures. The differences were also observed regarding the morphological characteristics, e.g., the microparticles-induced changes of projected area in the co-cultures and the corresponding monocultures were not always comparable. In addition, the study showed the importance of medium composition on the outcomes of MPEC, as exemplified by lovastatin production in A. terreus monocultures. Finally, the co-cultures of A. terreus with a white-rot fungus C. unicolor were described here for the first time. KEY POINTS: • Aluminum oxide affects secondary metabolites production in submerged co-cultures. • Mono- and co-cultures are differently impacted by the addition of aluminum oxide. • Effect of aluminum oxide on metabolites production depends on medium composition.