Majors, P. D., McLean, J. S., Scholten, J. C.
NMR Bioreactor Development for Live In-situ Microbial Functional Analysis
J Magn Reson. 2008 May 01; 192(1): 159-66.
A live, in-situ metabolomics capability was developed for prokaryotic cultures under controlled growth conditions. Toward this goal, a radiofrequency-transparent bioreactor was developed and integrated with a commercial wide-bore nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging spectrometer and a commercial bioreactor controller. Water suppressed 1H NMR spectroscopy was used to monitor glucose and fructose utilization and byproduct excretion by Eubacterium aggregans (an anaerobic bacterial species relevant for biofuel production) under controlled batch and continuous culture conditions. The resulting metabolite profiles (short chain organic acids and ethanol) and trends are consistent with existing knowledge of its metabolism. However, our study also showed that E. aggregans produces lactate end product in significant concentrations-a result not previously reported. The advantages of live in-situ microbial metabolomics analysis and its complementariness with functional genomics/systems biology methods are discussed.