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Production of Photosynthetic Biofuels by Genetically Engineering Cyanobacteria

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Cyanobacteria, photosynthetic bacteria with conversion capability to utilize solar energy and carbon dioxide and genetic engineering capacity to be easily modified to build non-native and improve native biosynthetic pathways, have displayed huge potential for biotechnology applications for direct production of biofuels by using solar energy as energy source and carbon dioxide as carbon source. Here research progress on microbial production of photosynthetic biofuels including hydrogen, ethanol, higher alcohols, isoprene and fatty acid-based biofuels in genetically engineered cyanobacteria is reviewed and the engineering challenges for using cyanobacteria as model hosts to make biofuels with high efficiency are discussed.
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Keywords: Biofuel; Chlamydomonas reinhardtii; Clostridium acetobutylicum; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Thiocapsa roseopersicina; Zymomonasmobilis; cyanobacteria; fatty acid ethyl esters; fatty alcohols; fatty alkanes; genetic engineering; pyruvate decarboxylase

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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  • Current Chemical Biology aims to publish full-length and mini reviews on exciting new developments at the chemistry-biology interface, covering topics relating to Chemical Synthesis, Science at Chemistry-Biology Interface and Chemical Mechanisms of Biological Systems.

    Current Chemical Biology covers the following areas: Chemical Synthesis (Syntheses of biologically important macromolecules including proteins, polypeptides, oligonucleotides, oligosaccharides etc.; Asymmetric synthesis; Combinatorial synthesis; Diversity-oriented synthesis; Template-directed synthesis; Biomimetic synthesis; Solid phase biomolecular synthesis; Synthesis of small biomolecules: amino acids, peptides, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleosides; and Natural product synthesis).

    Science at Chemistry-Biology Interface (Chemical informatics; Macromolecular catalysts and receptors; Enzymatic synthesis; Biosynthetic engineering; Combinatorial biosynthesis; Plant cell based chemistry; Bacterial and viral cell based chemistry; Chemistry of cellular processes in plants/animals; Receptor chemistry; Cell signaling chemistry; Drug design through understanding of disease processes; Synthetic biology; New high throughput screening techniques; Small molecular array fabrication; Chemical genomics; Chemical and biological approaches to carbohydrates proteins and nucleic acids design; Chemical and biological regulation of biosynthetic pathways; and Unnatural biomolecular analogs).
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