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Biotechnology Advances

Impact of synthetic biology and metabolic engineering on industrial production of fine chemicals

David Jullesson, Florian David, Brian Pfleger, Jens Nielsen

Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, 41296 Gothenburg, Sweden.


Industrial bio-processes for fine chemical production are increasingly relying on cell factories developed through metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. The use of high throughput techniques and automation for the design of cell factories, and especially platform strains, has played an important role in the transition from laboratory research to industrial production. Model organisms such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli remain widely used host strains for industrial production due to their robust and desirable traits. This review describes some of the bio-based fine chemicals that have reached the market, key metabolic engineering tools that have allowed this to happen and some of the companies that are currently utilizing these technologies for developing industrial production processes.

Keywords: Synthetic biology; Metabolic engineering; Cell factories; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Escherichia coli; Industrial production.

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