Combining genetic engineering and bioprocess concepts for improved phenylpropanoid production

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The group of natural aromatic compounds known as phenylpropanoids has diverse applications, but current methods of production which are largely based on synthesis from petrochemicals or extraction from agricultural biomass are unsustainable. Bioprocessing is a promising alternative, but improvements in production titers and rates are required to make this method profitable. Here the recent advances in genetic engineering and bioprocess concepts for the production of phenylpropanoids are presented for the purpose of identifying successful strategies, including adaptive laboratory evolution, enzyme engineering, in-situ product removal, and biocatalysis. The pros and cons of bacterial and yeast hosts for phenylpropanoid production are discussed, also in the context of different phenylpropanoid targets and bioprocess concepts. Finally, some broad recommendations are made regarding targets for continued improvement and areas requiring specific attention from researchers to further improve production titers and rates.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)613-628
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Aromatic compounds
  • Bioprocessing
  • Genetic engineering
  • Phenylpropanoids


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