Towards a circular bioeconomy: Engineering biology for effective assimilation of cellulosic biomass

Marcos Valenzuela-Ortega, Florentina Winkelmann, Christopher E. French*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

Development of microbial processes for production of chemical feedstocks from renewable materials on a large scale, without interfering with the human food supply, requires effective degradation of non-food components of biomass, such as lignocellulosic material, and assimilation of the compounds released. Engineering these capabilities into industrially useful microorganisms has proven to be challenging due to the complex and recalcitrant nature of biomass and the range of different enzyme activities required. The techniques of synthetic biology (engineering biology) are well suited to the complex genetic manipulations required to achieve this goal. Here we consider various aspects of the problem including choice of host and enzymes, methods for construction of DNA cassettes, secretion and surface display of enzymes in bacteria and yeasts, high throughput testing of constructed organisms, and experimental design to maximize useful information. We review recent reports of organisms designed for such consolidated bioprocessing, and suggest pathways towards improved outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Microbiology
Subtitle of host publicationGenome Engineering
EditorsVolker Gurtler, Michael Calcutt
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages41
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-823540-9
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2023

Publication series

NameMethods in Microbiology
ISSN (Print)0580-9517

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • cellulases
  • cellulosomes
  • combinatorial DNA assembly
  • consolidated bioprocessing
  • design of experiments
  • engineering biology
  • high throughput screening
  • lignocellulosic biomass
  • protein secretion
  • surface display
  • synthetic biology


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