Metabolic engineering of microbial pathways for advanced biofuels production

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2011 Dec;22(6):775-83. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2011.04.024. Epub 2011 May 26.


Production of biofuels from renewable resources such as cellulosic biomass provides a source of liquid transportation fuel to replace petroleum-based fuels. This endeavor requires the conversion of cellulosic biomass into simple sugars, and the conversion of simple sugars into biofuels. Recently, microorganisms have been engineered to convert simple sugars into several types of biofuels, such as alcohols, fatty acid alkyl esters, alkanes, and terpenes, with high titers and yields. Here, we review recently engineered biosynthetic pathways from the well-characterized microorganisms Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the production of several advanced biofuels.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alcohols / metabolism
  • Biofuels*
  • Biosynthetic Pathways / genetics
  • Biosynthetic Pathways / physiology*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Industrial Microbiology* / trends
  • Metabolic Engineering*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Terpenes / metabolism


  • Alcohols
  • Biofuels
  • Fatty Acids
  • Terpenes