Yeast synthetic biology toolbox and applications for biofuel production

Ching Sung Tsai, Suryang Kwak, Timothy L. Turner, Yong Su Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


Yeasts are efficient biofuel producers with numerous advantages outcompeting bacterial counterparts. While most synthetic biology tools have been developed and customized for bacteria especially for Escherichia coli, yeast synthetic biological tools have been exploited for improving yeast to produce fuels and chemicals from renewable biomass. Here we review the current status of synthetic biological tools and their applications for biofuel production, focusing on the model strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We describe assembly techniques that have been developed for constructing genes, pathways, and genomes in yeast. Moreover, we discuss synthetic parts for allowing precise control of gene expression at both transcriptional and translational levels. Applications of these synthetic biological approaches have led to identification of effective gene targets that are responsible for desirable traits, such as cellulosic sugar utilization, advanced biofuel production, and enhanced tolerance against toxic products for biofuel production from renewable biomass. Although an array of synthetic biology tools and devices are available, we observed some gaps existing in tool development to achieve industrial utilization. Looking forward, future tool development should focus on industrial cultivation conditions utilizing industrial strains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12206
JournalFEMS yeast research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Biofuel
  • Synthetic biology
  • Yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Yeast synthetic biology toolbox and applications for biofuel production'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this