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Mar. Drugs 2013, 11(8), 2894-2916; doi:10.3390/md11082894
Review

Development of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 as a Phototrophic Cell Factory

1,2
, 2
, 3
, 2
, 2,3,*  and 2,3,*
1 Key Laboratory of Combinatory Biosynthesis and Drug Discovery (Ministry of Education), School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Wuhan University, 185 East Lake Road, Wuhan 430071, China 2 Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering; Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA 3 Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 June 2013 / Revised: 14 June 2013 / Accepted: 15 July 2013 / Published: 13 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Compounds from Cyanobacteria)
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Abstract

Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) play profound roles in ecology and biogeochemistry. One model cyanobacterial species is the unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. This species is highly amenable to genetic modification. Its genome has been sequenced and many systems biology and molecular biology tools are available to study this bacterium. Recently, researchers have put significant efforts into understanding and engineering this bacterium to produce chemicals and biofuels from sunlight and CO2. To demonstrate our perspective on the application of this cyanobacterium as a photosynthesis-based chassis, we summarize the recent research on Synechocystis 6803 by focusing on five topics: rate-limiting factors for cell cultivation; molecular tools for genetic modifications; high-throughput system biology for genome wide analysis; metabolic modeling for physiological prediction and rational metabolic engineering; and applications in producing diverse chemicals. We also discuss the particular challenges for systems analysis and engineering applications of this microorganism, including precise characterization of versatile cell metabolism, improvement of product rates and titers, bioprocess scale-up, and product recovery. Although much progress has been achieved in the development of Synechocystis 6803 as a phototrophic cell factory, the biotechnology for “Compounds from Synechocystis” is still significantly lagging behind those for heterotrophic microbes (e.g., Escherichia coli).
Keywords: algae; biofuel; bioprocess scale-up; metabolism; systems biology algae; biofuel; bioprocess scale-up; metabolism; systems biology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yu, Y.; You, L.; Liu, D.; Hollinshead, W.; Tang, Y.J.; Zhang, F. Development of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 as a Phototrophic Cell Factory. Mar. Drugs 2013, 11, 2894-2916.

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