Anthraquinones production in Rubia tinctorum cell suspension cultures: Down scale of shear effects

Víctor D. Busto, Ariel Calabró-López, Julián Rodríguez-Talou, Ana M. Giulietti, José C. Merchuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The effect of turbulence on suspended cells is one of the most complex problems in the scale-up of cell cultures. In the present paper, a direct comparison of the effects of turbulence on suspension cultures of Rubia tinctorum in a standard bioreactor and in shake flask cultures was done. A procedure derived from the well known global method proposed by Nishikawa et al. (1977) [39] was applied. Standard flasks and four-baffled shake flasks were used. The effect of turbulence and light irradiation on cell viability, biomass, and anthraquinones (AQs) production was evaluated. The biomass concentration and AQs production obtained using baffled shake flasks agitated at 360. rpm were similar to that achieved in R. tinctorum suspension cultures growing in a stirred tank bioreactor operating at 450. rpm, previously published (Busto et al., 2008 [17]). The effect of light on AQs production was found to be very significant, and a difference of up to 48% was found in cells with and without illumination after 7 days of culture. It is concluded that this down-scaled and simple flask culture system is a suitable and valid small scale instrument for the study of intracellular mechanisms of turbulence-induced AQs production in R. tinctorum suspension cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-128
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - 5 Jul 2013


  • Anthraquinones
  • Plant cell cultures
  • Rubia tinctorum
  • Scale-down
  • Shaken bioreactors
  • Shear stress
  • Turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Anthraquinones production in Rubia tinctorum cell suspension cultures: Down scale of shear effects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this