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Open Access Publications from the University of California

New frontiers: harnessing pivotal advances in microbial engineering for the biosynthesis of plant-derived terpenoids.

  • Author(s): Belcher, Michael S;
  • Mahinthakumar, Jessica;
  • Keasling, Jay D
  • et al.

Terpenoids are a vast and diverse class of molecules with industrial and medicinal importance. The majority of these molecules are produced across kingdom Plantae via specialized metabolism. Microorganisms, mainly Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, have become choice platforms for the biosynthesis of terpenoids due to recent advances in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering. New techniques for gene discovery have expanded our search space for novel terpene synthesis pathways and unlocked unrealized potential for the microbial production of more complex derivatives. Additionally, numerous advances in host and pathway engineering have allowed for the production of terpenoids requiring oxidation and glycosylation, effectively expanding the potential target space. These advances will lay the foundation for the microbial biosynthesis of a seemingly infinite domain of terpenoids with varying applications.

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