l -Tryptophan Production

Authored by: M. Ikeda

Handbook of Corynebacterium glutamicum

Print publication date:  March  2005
Online publication date:  March  2005

Print ISBN: 9780849318214
eBook ISBN: 9781420039696
Adobe ISBN:


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l-Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids in the diets of humans and other mammals, such as pigs and poultry, is the second least abundant of the proteinogenic amino acids, constituting approximately 1% or less of an average protein [81]. Since l-tryptophan is particularly scarce in cereal grains, this amino acid is of considerable value for animal nutrition. Furthermore, l-tryptophan is known to improve the sleep state and mood because it is a precursor of serotonin, which acts as a neurotransmitter in the nervous system [5]. Owing to these nutritional and medicinal benefits, the amino acid has various application fields, including food additives, pharmaceuticals, and feed supplements. The market for l-tryptophan as a supplement of animal feed, however, is still in development because of rather high production costs, but it is expected to expand in the near future through the realization of cost-effective production. The annual world production of l-tryptophan is currently estimated at about 500 t. The major suppliers of the aromatic amino acids and their listed prices have been summarized by Bongaerts et al. [7].

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