limiting nutrient

The nutrient in short supply relative to the others will be exhausted first and will thus limit cellular growth. The other ingredients may play various roles such as exhibiting toxicity or promoting cellular activities, but there will not be an acute shortage to restrict growth as in the case of the limiting nutrient becoming exhausted. The usual way of determining which nutrient is limiting is to increase the concentration of one nutrient. If there is no effect, some other nutrient is limiting.

Citation: 
https://www.rpi.edu/dept/chem-eng/Biotech-Environ/FERMENT/limiting.htm
English

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