Production of biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass remains an unsolved challenge in industrial biotechnology. Efforts to use yeast for conversion face the question of which host organism to use, counterbalancing the ease of genetic manipulation with the promise of robust industrial phenotypes. Saccharomyces cerevisiae remains the premier host for metabolic engineering of biofuel pathways, due to its many genetic, systems and synthetic biology tools. Numerous engineering strategies for expanding substrate ranges and diversifying products of S. cerevisiae have been developed. Other yeasts generally lack these tools, yet harbor superior phenotypes that could be exploited in the harsh processes required for lignocellulosic biofuel production. These include thermotolerance, resistance to toxic compounds generated during plant biomass deconstruction, and wider carbon consumption capabilities. Although promising, these yeasts have yet to be widely exploited. By contrast, oleaginous yeasts such as Yarrowia lipolytica capable of producing high titers of lipids are rapidly advancing in terms of the tools available for their metabolic manipulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry