Article Title

Photosynthetic bioconversion of coenzyme Q10 using agrowaste generated from tobacco biorefinery for nonsmoking applications: A review


An effective processing was established to recover protein without nicotine from tobacco for alternative applications as the foundation for tobacco biorefinery. Solanesol, an intermediate compound for the synthesis of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and vitamin K analogues, was recovered from tobacco biomass, an agrowaste generated after protein separation. CoQ 10, a potent antioxidative dietary supplement, was produced using photosynthetic Rhodospirillum rubrum ATCC 25852 by submerged fermentation supplemented with tobacco biomass hydrolysate. The stimulation effects on cell growth (shortened lag phase, accelerated exponential growth, and elevated final cell concentration) and CoQ10 production (enhanced specific CoQ 10 content per unit cell weight) could be attributed to the solanesol in tobacco biomass. The significance of the present study is twofold. First, solanesol in the growth medium of R. rubrum provided the cells with the essential intermediate metabolites that could act like preassembled cassettes to be quickly configured into the finished product (CoQ10). The ability of R. rubrum cells to accept these intermediate metabolites and bypass certain metabolic pathways makes R. rubrum an ideal candidate for CoQ10 bioproduction. Secondly, the fermentation process could be further optimized if the respective nutrient, dissolved oxygen, and light requirements for R. rubrum cell growth and CoQ10 production could be clearly elucidated.

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