Heterologous production of plant-derived isoprenoid products in microbes and the application of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2014 Jun;19:8-13. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2014.02.005. Epub 2014 Mar 12.


The value associated with plant-derived products has spurred efforts to engineer new production routes. One such option is heterologous biosynthesis which requires reconstitution of a biosynthetic pathway in a host that provides both innate and developed cellular advantages relative to the native producer. This review will summarize success to date in heterologously producing plant-derived isoprenoid products when using hosts such as E. coli and yeast. The article will also address the significant challenges that face such efforts, the approaches that have been used to overcome obstacles, and the tools of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology being applied both in the course of establishing heterologous biosynthesis and optimizing final production metrics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Metabolic Engineering*
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Synthetic Biology*
  • Terpenes / metabolism*


  • Terpenes