Importance of systems biology in engineering microbes for biofuel production

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2008 Jun;19(3):228-34. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2008.05.003.


Microorganisms have been rich sources for natural products, some of which have found use as fuels, commodity chemicals, specialty chemicals, polymers, and drugs, to name a few. The recent interest in production of transportation fuels from renewable resources has catalyzed numerous research endeavors that focus on developing microbial systems for production of such natural products. Eliminating bottlenecks in microbial metabolic pathways and alleviating the stresses due to production of these chemicals are crucial in the generation of robust and efficient production hosts. The use of systems-level studies makes it possible to comprehensively understand the impact of pathway engineering within the context of the entire host metabolism, to diagnose stresses due to product synthesis, and provides the rationale to cost-effectively engineer optimal industrial microorganisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bioelectric Energy Sources
  • Biotechnology
  • Energy-Generating Resources*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Genomics
  • Systems Biology*