Bacterial polymers: biosynthesis, modifications and applications

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2010 Aug;8(8):578-92. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2354. Epub 2010 Jun 28.


Bacteria can synthesize a wide range of biopolymers that serve diverse biological functions and have material properties suitable for numerous industrial and medical applications. A better understanding of the fundamental processes involved in polymer biosynthesis and the regulation of these processes has created the foundation for metabolic- and protein-engineering approaches to improve economic-production efficiency and to produce tailor-made polymers with highly applicable material properties. Here, I summarize the key aspects of bacterial biopolymer production and highlight how a better understanding of polymer biosynthesis and material properties can lead to increased use of bacterial biopolymers as valuable renewable products.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Biopolymers / biosynthesis*
  • Biopolymers / chemistry*
  • Biosynthetic Pathways / genetics
  • Genetic Engineering


  • Biopolymers