Microalgal metabolic engineering strategies for the production of fuels and chemicals

Nam Kyu Kang, Kwangryul Baek, Hyun Gi Koh, Christine Anne Atkinson, Donald R. Ort, Yong Su Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Microalgae are promising sustainable resources because of their ability to convert CO2 into biofuels and chemicals directly. However, the industrial production and economic feasibility of microalgal bioproducts are still limited. As such, metabolic engineering approaches have been undertaken to enhance the productivities of microalgal bioproducts. In the last decade, impressive advances in microalgae metabolic engineering have been made by developing genetic engineering tools and multi-omics analysis. This review presents comprehensive microalgal metabolic pathways and metabolic engineering strategies for producing lipids, long chain-polyunsaturated fatty acids, terpenoids, and carotenoids. Additionally, promising metabolic engineering approaches specific to target products are summarized. Finally, this review discusses current challenges and provides future perspectives for the effective production of chemicals and fuels via microalgal metabolic engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number126529
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Isoprenoids
  • Lipids
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Microalgae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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