Engineering Native and Synthetic Pathways in Pseudomonas Putida for the Production of Tailored Polyhydroxyalkanoates

Mariela P. Mezzina, María Tsampika Manoli, M. Auxiliadora Prieto, Pablo Ivan Nikel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Growing environmental concern sparks renewed interest in the sustainable production of (bio)materials that can replace oil-derived goods. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are isotactic polymers that play a critical role in the central metabolism of producer bacteria, as they act as dynamic reservoirs of carbon and reducing equivalents. PHAs continue to attract industrial attention as a starting point toward renewable, biodegradable, biocompatible, and versatile thermoplastic and elastomeric materials. Pseudomonas species have been known for long as efficient biopolymer producers, especially for medium-chain-length PHAs. The surge of synthetic biology and metabolic engineering approaches in recent years offers the possibility of exploiting the untapped potential of Pseudomonas cell factories for the production of tailored PHAs. In this article, an overview of the metabolic and regulatory circuits that rule PHA accumulation in Pseudomonas putida is provided, and approaches leading to the biosynthesis of novel polymers (e.g., PHAs including nonbiological chemical elements in their structures) are discussed. The potential of novel PHAs to disrupt existing and future market segments is closer to realization than ever before. The review is concluded by pinpointing challenges that currently hinder the wide adoption of bio-based PHAs, and strategies toward programmable polymer biosynthesis from alternative substrates in engineered P. putida strains are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2000165
JournalBiotechnology Journal
Issue number3
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Biopolymer
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Pathway engineering
  • PHA
  • Pseudomonas putida
  • Synthetic biology


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