Caister Academic Press

Isoprene-derived Biofuels from Engineered Microbes

Han Min Woo and Taek Soon Lee
from: Biofuels: From Microbes to Molecules (Edited by: Xuefeng Lu). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)

Abstract

Recently, biofuel researches have shown an increased emphasis on the advanced biofuels which are more direct replacements to petroleum-derived transportation fuels, and more compatible to the existing fuel infrastructure than the most popular biofuel, ethanol. Advanced biofuels are mostly produced from the existing hydrocarbon biosynthetic pathways such as fatty acid biosynthesis and isoprenoid biosynthesis. These hydrocarbon biosynthetic pathways generate a range of potential biofuels with characteristics suitable for gasoline, diesels, or jet-fuels, and among them, isoprenoid pathways are unique for their richness in the type of compounds they can generate. Here, we provide the insights of a class of isoprenoid compounds that can be produced in microbes by adequate microbial engineering. Subsequently, microbial cells have been constructed to produce isoprenoids using tools of pathway and host engineering, and optimized through metabolic engineering. To broaden the spectrum of microbial synthesis of target isoprenoids, synthetic biology and systems biology also have been applied to engineered microbes. Several engineered E. coli and yeast strains have been constructed and being optimized for industrial applications. Downstream-modification of isoprenoids produced from engineered microbes is necessary to satisfy the current fuel properties, and catalytic processes of target compounds must be combined with the development of isoprenoids-producing strains read more ...
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