Online Biomass Monitoring Enables Characterization of the Growth Pattern of <em>Aspergillus fumigatus</em> in Liquid Shake Conditions
J Fungi (Basel). 2022 Sep 27;8(10):1013. doi: 10.3390/jof8101013.
Numerous filamentous fungal species are extensively studied due to their role as model organisms, workhorses in biotechnology, or as pathogens for plants, animals, and humans. Growth studies are mainly carried out on solid media. However, studies concerning gene expression, biochemistry, or metabolism are carried out usually in liquid shake conditions, which do not correspond to the growth pattern on solid media. The reason for this practice is the problem of on-line growth monitoring of filamentous fungal species, which usually form pellets in liquid shake cultures. Here, we compared the time-consuming and tedious process of dry-weight determination of the mold Aspergillus fumigatus with online monitoring of biomass in liquid shake culture by the parallelizable CGQ (“cell growth quantifier”), which implements dynamic biomass determination by backscattered light measurement. The results revealed a strong correlation of CGQ-mediated growth monitoring and classical biomass measurement of A. fumigatus grown over a time course. Moreover, CGQ-mediated growth monitoring displayed the difference in growth of A. fumigatus in response to the limitation of iron or nitrogen as well as the growth defects of previously reported mutant strains (ΔhapX, ΔsrbA). Furthermore, the frequently used wild-type strain Af293 showed largely decreased and delayed growth in liquid shake cultures compared to other strains (AfS77, A1160p+, AfS35). Taken together, the CGQ allows for robust, automated biomass monitoring of A. fumigatus during liquid shake conditions, which largely facilitates the characterization of the growth pattern of filamentous fungal species.