Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Book chapters
DOI 10.1007/10_2022_210
Title (Primary) The molecular toolset and techniques required to build cyanobacterial cell factories
Author Opel, F.; Axmann, I.M.; Klähn, S.
Publisher Scheper, T.; Ulber, R.
Journal Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology
Year 2022
Department SOMA
Language englisch
Topic T7 Bioeconomy
Keywords Cyanobacteria; Gene expression regulation; Genetic engineering; Molecular toolset; Synthetic biology

Cyanobacteria are the only prokaryotes performing oxygenic photosynthesis, a solar-driven process which allows them to obtain electrons from water to reduce and finally assimilate carbon dioxide. Consequently, they are in the spotlight of biotechnology as photoautotrophic cell factories to generate a large variety of chemicals and biofuels in a sustainable way. Recent progress in synthetic biology has enlarged the molecular toolset to genetically engineer the metabolism of cyanobacteria, mainly targeting common model strains, such as Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942, Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002, or Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. Nevertheless, the accessibility and flexibility of engineering cyanobacteria is still somewhat limited and less predictable compared to other biotechnologically employed microorganisms.

This chapter gives a broad overview of currently available methods for the genetic modification of cyanobacterial model strains as well as more recently discovered and promising species, such as Synechococcus elongatus PCC 11801. It comprises approaches based on homologous recombination, replicative broad-host-range or strain-specific plasmids, CRISPR/Cas, as well as markerless selection. Furthermore, common and newly introduced molecular tools for gene expression regulation are presented, comprising promoters, regulatory RNAs, genetic insulators like transcription terminators, ribosome binding sites, CRISPR interference, and the utilization of heterologous RNA polymerases. Additionally, potential DNA assembly strategies, like modular cloning, are described. Finally, considerations about post-translational control via protein degradation tags and heterologous proteases, as well as small proteins working as enzyme effectors are briefly discussed.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Opel, F., Axmann, I.M., Klähn, S. (2022):
The molecular toolset and techniques required to build cyanobacterial cell factories
In: Scheper, T., Ulber, R. (eds.)
Adv. Biochem. Eng. Biotechnol.
Springer Nature,