Modeling linear and variable growth in phosphate limited suspension cultures of Opium poppy

Wayne R. Curtis, Paul M. Hasegawa, Alden H. Emery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


In examining the growth kinetics of cell suspensions of opium poppy (Papaver somniferum), the increase in biomass with time was observed to be linear over the entire batch growth period of up to 20 days. Although batch growth profiles were reproducible utilizing the same inoculum, growth rates varied tremendously when experiments were inoculated with cells from different flasks. Both of these phenomena are difficult to explain with conventional batch growth models. In a series of a experiments, phosphate was determined to be the growth‐rate‐limiting substrate. By expressing growth rate in terms of the intracellular reserves of phosphorus, a growth model which expresses kinetics in terms of the intracellular phosphorus contents of the cells is shown to predict both linear growth character and inoculum dependent variability in growth. The stationary phase phosphate content of seven plant suspension cultures of different plant species was found to be comparable to phosphorus levels of phosphate‐starved poppy cells, which suggests that phosphate limitation may be common for plant tissue culture. The applicability of this model to other biological systems which display similar batch growth patterns when subjected to inorganic nutrient deprivation is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-379
Number of pages9
JournalBiotechnology and bioengineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 5 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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