BACKGROUND : Farnesol is an acyclic sesquiterpene alcohol present in the essential oils of various plants in nature. It has been reported to be valuable in medical applications, such as alleviation of allergic asthma, gliosis, and edema as well as anti-cancerous and anti-inflammatory effects. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an essential cofactor in the aerobic respiratory electron transport chain, has attracted growing interest owing to its clinical benefits and important applications in the pharmaceutical, food, and health industries. In this work, co-production of (E,E)-farnesol (FOH) and CoQ10 was achieved by combining 3 different exogenous terpenes or sesquiterpene synthase with the RNA interference of psy (responsible for phytoene synthesis in Rhodobacter sphaeroides GY-2). RESULTS : FOH production was significantly increased by overexpressing exogenous terpene synthase (TPS), phosphatidylglycerophosphatase B (PgpB), and sesquiterpene synthase (ATPS), as well as RNAi-mediated silencing of psy coding phytoene synthase (PSY) in R. sphaeroides strains. Rs-TPS, Rs-ATPS, and Rs-PgpB respectively produced 68.2%, 43.4%, and 21.9% higher FOH titers than that of the control strain. Interestingly, the CoQ10 production of these 3 recombinant R. sphaeroides strains was exactly opposite to that of FOH. However, CoQ10 production was almost unaffected in R. sphaeroides strains modified by psy RNA interference. The highest FOH production of 40.45 mg/L, which was twice as high as that of the control, was obtained from the TPS-PSYi strain, where the exogenous TPS was combined with the weakening of the phytoene synthesis pathway via psy RNA interference. CoQ10 production in TPS-PSYi, ATPS-PSYi, and PgpB-PSYi was decreased and lower than that of the control strain. CONCLUSIONS : The original flux that contributed to phytoene synthesis was effectively redirected to provide precursors toward FOH or CoQ10 synthesis via psy RNA interference, which led to weakened carotenoid synthesis. The improved flux that was originally involved in CoQ10 production and phytoene synthesis was redirected toward FOH synthesis via metabolic modification. This is the first reported instance of FOH and CoQ10 co-production in R. sphaeroides using a metabolic engineering strategy.