The explosion of genomic sequence data and the significant advancements in synthetic biology have led to the development of new technologies for natural products discovery and production. Using powerful genetic tools, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been engineered as a production host for natural product pathways from bacterial, fungal, and plant species. With an expanding library of characterized genetic parts, biosynthetic pathways can be refactored for optimized expression in yeast. New engineering strategies have enabled the increased production of valuable secondary metabolites by tuning metabolic pathways. Improvements in high-throughput screening methods have facilitated the rapid identification of variants with improved biosynthetic capabilities. In this review, we focus on the molecular tools and engineering strategies that have recently empowered heterologous natural product biosynthesis.
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