The effect of different concentrations and combinations of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and ethylene on cell growth and taxol production in suspension cultures of Taxus cuspidata was investigated using several factorial design experiments. Low head space oxygen concentration (10% v/v) promoted early production oftaxol. High carbon dioxide concentration (10% v/v) inhibited taxol production. The most effective gas mixture composition in terms of taxol production was 10% (v/v) oxygen, 0.5% (v/v) carbon dioxide, and 5 ppm ethylene. Cultures grown underambient concentration of oxygen had a delayed uptake of glucose and fructose compared to cultures grown under 10% (v/v) oxygen. Average calcium uptake rates into the cultured cells decreased and average phosphate uptake rates increased as ethylene was increased from 0 to 10 ppm. These results may indicate that gas composition alters partitioning of nutrients, which in turn affects secondary metabolite production. (c) 1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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