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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2009 May;83(2):233-9. doi: 10.1007/s00253-009-1856-4. Epub 2009 Jan 27.

Paclitaxel production using co-culture of Taxus suspension cells and paclitaxel-producing endophytic fungi in a co-bioreactor.

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Key Laboratory of Industrial Biotechnology of the Ministry of Education, School of Biotechnology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, 214122, People's Republic of China.


The co-culture of the suspension cells of Taxus chinensis var. mairei and its endophytic fungi, Fusarium mairei, in a 20-L co-bioreactor was successfully established for paclitaxel production. The co-bioreactor consists of two-unit tanks (10 L each) with a repairable separate membrane in the center, culturing Taxus suspension cells in one tank and growing fungi in another. By optimizing the co-culture conditions, there was a desirable yield of paclitaxel in Taxus cell cultures. The Taxus cell cultures by co-culture produced 25.63 mg/L of paclitaxel within 15 days; it was equivalent to a productivity of 1.71 mg/L per day and 38-fold higher than that by uncoupled culture (0.68 mg/L within 15 days). The optimum conditions for co-culture in the co-bioreactor were: B5 medium, inoculating fungi when Taxus cells had grown for 5 days in the co-bioreactor, hydrophilic separate membrane in the center of the co-bioreactor, and air flow rate of 1:0.85 v/v/m in fungus cultures.

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