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Front Microbiol. 2012 Sep 19;3:344. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2012.00344. eCollection 2012.

Application of synthetic biology in cyanobacteria and algae.

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Center for Biosignatures Discovery Automation, The Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University Tempe, AZ, USA ; Biological Design Graduate Program, Arizona State University Tempe, AZ, USA.


Cyanobacteria and algae are becoming increasingly attractive cell factories for producing renewable biofuels and chemicals due to their ability to capture solar energy and CO(2) and their relatively simple genetic background for genetic manipulation. Increasing research efforts from the synthetic biology approach have been made in recent years to modify cyanobacteria and algae for various biotechnological applications. In this article, we critically review recent progresses in developing genetic tools for characterizing or manipulating cyanobacteria and algae, the applications of genetically modified strains for synthesizing renewable products such as biofuels and chemicals. In addition, the emergent challenges in the development and application of synthetic biology for cyanobacteria and algae are also discussed.


algae; biofuel; cyanobacteria; green chemistry; synthetic biology

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