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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Strategies for the production of biochemicals in bioenergy crops.

  • Author(s): Lin, Chien-Yuan
  • Eudes, Aymerick
  • et al.

Industrial crops are grown to produce goods for manufacturing. Rather than food and feed, they supply raw materials for making biofuels, pharmaceuticals, and specialty chemicals, as well as feedstocks for fabricating fiber, biopolymer, and construction materials. Therefore, such crops offer the potential to reduce our dependency on petrochemicals that currently serve as building blocks for manufacturing the majority of our industrial and consumer products. In this review, we are providing examples of metabolites synthesized in plants that can be used as bio-based platform chemicals for partial replacement of their petroleum-derived counterparts. Plant metabolic engineering approaches aiming at increasing the content of these metabolites in biomass are presented. In particular, we emphasize on recent advances in the manipulation of the shikimate and isoprenoid biosynthetic pathways, both of which being the source of multiple valuable compounds. Implementing and optimizing engineered metabolic pathways for accumulation of coproducts in bioenergy crops may represent a valuable option for enhancing the commercial value of biomass and attaining sustainable lignocellulosic biorefineries.

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