The bacterium Zymomonas mobilis presents potential for sorbitol production when grown in culture medium with high sugar concentration. Sorbitol is produced and accumulated in the periplasma of the bacterium to protect the cells from the harmful effects of high osmotic pressure that results from the action of invertase on sucrose. The conversion of sucrose into glucose and fructose increases the osmolarity of the medium. However, an excessive increase in the osmotic pressure may decrease the sorbitol production. In this work Saccharomyces cerevisiae invertase was added two media containing sucrose 200 and 300 g.L-1. Sorbitol production in sucrose at 200 g.L-1 was 42.35 and 38.42 g.L-1, with and without the invertase treatment, respectively. In the culture medium with 300 g.L-1 sucrose, production reached 60.4 g.L-1 and with invertase treatment was 19.14 g.L-1. These results indicated that the excessive rise in osmotic pressure led to a significant decrease in sorbitol production by the Zymomonas mobilis bacterium in the sucrose medium treated with invertase.
Zymomonas mobilis; invertase; osmotic pressure; sorbitol