Design and development of synthetic microbial platform cells for bioenergy

Sang Jun Lee, Sang Jae Lee, Dong Woo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The finite reservation of fossil fuels accelerates the necessity of development of renewable energy sources. Recent advances in synthetic biology encompassing systems biology and metabolic engineering enable us to engineer and/or create tailor made microorganisms to produce alternative biofuels for the future bio-era. For the efficient transformation of biomass to bioenergy, microbial cells need to be designed and engineered to maximize the performance of cellular metabolisms for the production of biofuels during energy flow. Toward this end, two different conceptual approaches have been applied for the development of platform cell factories: forward minimization and reverse engineering. From the context of naturally minimized genomes,non-essential energy-consuming pathways and/or related gene clusters could be progressively deleted to optimize cellular energy status for bioenergy production. Alternatively, incorporation of non-indigenous parts and/or modules including biomass-degrading enzymes, carbon uptake transporters, photosynthesis, CO2 fixation, and etc. into chassis microorganisms allows the platform cells to gain novel metabolic functions for bioenergy. This review focuses on the current progress in synthetic biology-aided pathway engineering in microbial cells and discusses its impact on the production of sustainable bioenergy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberAPR
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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