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Comput Struct Biotechnol J. 2012 Oct 27;2:e201209012. doi: 10.5936/csbj.201209012. eCollection 2012.

Directed evolution: selection of the host organism.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Tulsa, 800 S. Tucker Dr, Tulsa, OK 74104, United States.


Directed evolution has become a well-established tool for improving proteins and biological systems. A critical aspect of directed evolution is the selection of a suitable host organism for achieving functional expression of the target gene. To date, most directed evolution studies have used either Escherichia coli or Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a host; however, other bacterial and yeast species, as well as mammalian and insect cell lines, have also been successfully used. Recent advances in synthetic biology and genomics have opened the possibility of expanding the use of directed evolution to new host organisms such as microalgae. This review focuses on the different host organisms used in directed evolution and highlights some of the recent directed evolution strategies used in these organisms.


directed evolution; host organism; microalgae; protein engineering

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