Advances in metabolic engineering of cyanobacteria for photosynthetic biochemical production

Martin C. Lai, Ethan I. Lan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Engineering cyanobacteria into photosynthetic microbial cell factories for the production of biochemicals and biofuels is a promising approach toward sustainability. Cyanobacteria naturally grow on light and carbon dioxide, bypassing the need of fermentable plant biomass and arable land. By tapping into the central metabolism and rerouting carbon flux towards desirable compound production, cyanobacteria are engineered to directly convert CO 2 into various chemicals. This review discusses the diversity of bioproducts synthesized by engineered cyanobacteria, the metabolic pathways used, and the current engineering strategies used for increasing their titers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-658
Number of pages23
Issue number4
StatePublished - 27 Oct 2015


  • Cyanobacteria
  • Metabolic engineering

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