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J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2010 May;37(5):521-9. doi: 10.1007/s10295-010-0699-4. Epub 2010 Feb 27.

Coenzyme Q10 production in a 150-l reactor by a mutant strain of Rhodobacter sphaeroides.

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  • 1Division of Food Science and Biotechnology, Pukyong National University, Busan, Korea.


For the commercial production of CoQ(10), batch-type fermentations were attempted in a 150-l fermenter using a mutant strain of R. sphaeroides. Optimum temperature and initial aeration rate were found to be 30 degrees C and 2 vvm, respectively. Under optimum fermentation conditions, the maximum value of specific CoQ(10) content was achieved reproducibly as 6.34 mg/g DCW after 24 h, with 3.02 g/l of DCW. During the fermentation, aeration shift (from the adequate aeration at the early growth phase to the limited aeration in active cellular metabolism) was a key factor in CoQ(10) production for scale-up. A higher value of the specific CoQ(10) content (8.12 mg/g DCW) was achieved in fed-batch fermentation and comparable to those produced by the pilot-scale fed-batch fermentations of A. tumefaciens, which indicated that the mutant strain of R. sphaeroides used in this study was a potential high CoQ(10) producer. This is the first detailed study to demonstrate a pilot-scale production of CoQ(10) using a mutant strain of R. sphaeroides.

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