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Trends Biotechnol. 2013 Sep;31(9):521-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2013.05.006. Epub 2013 Jun 19.

Genetic engineering of multispecies microbial cell factories as an alternative for bioenergy production.

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Instituto de Investigaciones en Biodiversidad y Biotecnología - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


There is currently much interest in developing technology to use microlgae or cyanobacteria for the production of bioenergy and biomaterials. Here, we summarize some remarkable achievements in strains improvement by traditional genetic engineering and discuss common drawbacks for further progress. We present general knowledge on natural microalgal-bacterial mutualistic interactions and discuss the potential of recent developments in genetic engineering of multispecies microbial cell factories. This synthetic biology approach would rely on the assembly of complex metabolic networks from optimized metabolic modules such as photosynthetic or nitrogen-fixing parts.

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