Microbial synthetic biology for plant metabolite production: a strategy to reconcile human health with the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Plants produce a wide range of secondary metabolites that provide an array of benefits for human health. Challenges of native host production systems such as excessive land use, large carbon footprints, long production times, and high production costs often make plant-based production of these critical metabolites inefficient and unsustainable. Engineered production through microbial-based synthetic biology offers an alternative method of producing plant compounds that addresses the limitations encountered in plant-based production. New technological and analytical tools such as bioprospecting, machine learning, and protein modeling can be used to explore biodiversity-based data to identify more efficient enzymatic sequences for optimizing the production of plant derivatives. Ex planta production using microbial chassis systems provides a flexible, scalable metabolic platform that can more readily integrate new metabolic processes. Potential improvements include increased production rates and enhanced bioavailability of critical compounds, expanding the frontiers of metabolite production for optimized clinical applications. Microbial-based synthetic biology also opens an avenue for sustainable production, with the capability of modifying the microbial chassis to accommodate a wide variety of substrates for feedstock. It includes the utilization of waste from human activities as carbon sources for production, presenting an opportunity to use cheap renewable resources for greener production methods. The benefits of ex planta production systems can potentially enable the efficient, scalable, and sustainable production of plant derivatives that may vastly improve health and help bring forward the realization of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1485-1495
Number of pages11
JournalBiofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Microbial synthetic biology for plant metabolite production: a strategy to reconcile human health with the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this