There is considerable current interest in coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) from a medical perspective. CoQ10 has been shown to alleviate the side effects of statin drugs, for instance, and so there is a push to find naturally high producers of the compound. Sporidiobolus johnsonii (S. johnsonii) has been reported to produce CoQ10 in studies that used only standards on thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and also suggested the production of coenzyme Q9 (CoQ9). This work set out to verify CoQ9/CoQ10 production in S. johnsonii and quantify as appropriate. We show that S. johnsonii produces CoQ10 but found no evidence for CoQ9 biosynthesis. The specific production of CoQ10 was noted at 10 mg/g dry cell weight (DCW) in media supplemented with 4-hydroxybenzoic acid (HBA). This makes S. johnsonii a naturally high CoQ10 producer. New methods for extraction and purification of CoQ10 are also discussed, and identification of a closely eluting side product under normal phase isolation is reported.
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