Application of synthetic biology for production of chemicals in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Irina Borodina, Mingji Li

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering enable generation of novel cell factories that efficiently convert renewable feedstocks into biofuels, bulk, and fine chemicals, thus creating the basis for biosustainable economy independent on fossil resources. While over a hundred proof-of-concept chemicals have been made in yeast, only a very small fraction of those has reached commercial-scale production so far. The limiting factor is the high research cost associated with the development of a robust cell factory that can produce the desired chemical at high titer, rate, and yield. Synthetic biology has the potential to bring down this cost by improving our ability to predictably engineer biological systems. This review highlights synthetic biology applications for design, assembly, and optimization of non-native biochemical pathways in baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We describe computational tools for the prediction of biochemical pathways, molecular biology methods for assembly of DNA parts into pathways, and for introducing the pathways into the host, and finally approaches for optimizing performance of the introduced pathways.
Original languageEnglish
JournalF E M S Yeast Research
Issue number1
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Synthetic biology
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Yeast
  • Chemicals
  • S. cerevisiae


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