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

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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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This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 30370044 and 30470016) and National “863” High-Tech Project of China (grant no. 2007AA021501).

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Correspondence to Wen-Yi Tao.

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Li, Y., Tao, W. & Cheng, L. Paclitaxel production using co-culture of Taxus suspension cells and paclitaxel-producing endophytic fungi in a co-bioreactor. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 83, 233–239 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-009-1856-4

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  • Biochemical engineering
  • Co-bioreactor
  • Co-culture
  • Endophytic fungi
  • Paclitaxel
  • Plant cell suspension culture