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Current advances in engineering cyanobacteria and their applications for photosynthetic butanol production

25 January 2022
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A recently published PROMICON-supported research article investigates some of the advances in engineering cyanobacteria and their application in the production of photosynthetic butanol. The paper has been conducted by a team of leading experts, amongst whom is PROMICON project partner Prof. Peter Lindblad (Uppsala University, Sweden) and is available in the Current Opinion in Biotechnology Journal. 

Cyanobacteria are natural photosynthetic microbes which can be engineered for sustainable conversion of solar energy and carbon dioxide into chemical products. Thus, in order to increase the target production, one should have a better understanding of the native cyanobacterial host system. Therein, throughout the paper, researchers have reviewed the current progress in engineering cyanobacteria and have further discussed the achieved and potential utilisation of these advances in cyanobacteria for the production of the bulk chemical butanol, specifically isobutanol and 1-butanol.

The results of the analysis conclude that there are various strategies to design, engineer and analyse cyanobacteria for improved production. However, the most successful strategies will be those that combine a variety of the advances described throughout this review. Achievements from applying more comprehensive approaches and technologies are promising to establish efficient cyanobacterial systems for production.

You can read the full paper here.

Photo: Schematic diagram of engineered metabolic pathway for biosynthesis of isobutanol and 1-butanol from CO2 in cyanobacteria. Based on Metabolite abbreviations: G3P, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate; F6P, fructose-6-phosphate; E4P, erythrose-4-phosphate; X5P, xylulose-5-phosphate; G6P, glucose-6-phosphate; G1P, glucose-1-phosphate; Acetyl-P, acetyl-phosphate; PHB, poly-3-hydroxybutyrate.