Abengoa Bioenergy New Technologies was seeking to establish and automate a screening process to determine cellulase activity in mutant strains of cellulose producing fungi.
The first step in the three-stage screening process was selection of colonies of different fungal mutants and their transfer to a 96-well plate to create microinocula for further fermentation. The second step involved fermentation of the different mutants in a 96-well plate format. Finally, the cellulase-producing capability of the different mutants was evaluated.
Using these capabilities, it was possible to identify and select large fungal colonies. Successfully picking sufficient viable biomaterial from the side of the colony created microinocula with 100 % further growth efficiency for subsequent investigations.
The automation solution shown here gave Abengoa the degree of reproducibility and efficacy required to perform their ambitious HTS program in the anticipated time frame.