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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2008 Dec;19(6):556-63. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2008.10.014. Epub 2008 Nov 10.

Metabolic engineering of microorganisms for biofuels production: from bugs to synthetic biology to fuels.

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Joint BioEnergy Institute, Emeryville, CA 95608, USA.


The ability to generate microorganisms that can produce biofuels similar to petroleum-based transportation fuels would allow the use of existing engines and infrastructure and would save an enormous amount of capital required for replacing the current infrastructure to accommodate biofuels that have properties significantly different from petroleum-based fuels. Several groups have demonstrated the feasibility of manipulating microbes to produce molecules similar to petroleum-derived products, albeit at relatively low productivity (e.g. maximum butanol production is around 20 g/L). For cost-effective production of biofuels, the fuel-producing hosts and pathways must be engineered and optimized. Advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology will provide new tools for metabolic engineers to better understand how to rewire the cell in order to create the desired phenotypes for the production of economically viable biofuels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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