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Economical challenges to microbial producers of butanol: Feedstock, butanol ratio and titer

Authors

  • Yang Gu,

    1. Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
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  • Yu Jiang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
    2. Shanghai Research and Development Center of Industrial Biotechnology, Shanghai, China
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  • Hui Wu,

    1. Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
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  • Xudong Liu,

    1. Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
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  • Zhilin Li,

    1. Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
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  • Jian Li,

    1. Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
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  • Han Xiao,

    1. Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
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  • Zhaobing Shen,

    1. Shanghai Research and Development Center of Industrial Biotechnology, Shanghai, China
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  • Hongjun Dong,

    1. Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Yunliu Yang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
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  • Yin Li,

    1. Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Prof. Weihong Jiang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
    2. Shanghai Research and Development Center of Industrial Biotechnology, Shanghai, China
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  • Dr. Sheng Yang

    Corresponding author
    1. Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
    2. Shanghai Research and Development Center of Industrial Biotechnology, Shanghai, China
    • Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 300 Fenglin Road, Shanghai 200032, China
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Abstract

Butanol is an important solvent and transport fuel additive, and can be produced by microbial fermentation. Attempts to generate a superior microbial producer of butanol have been made through different metabolic engineering strategies. However, to date, butanol bio-production is still not economically competitive compared to petrochemical-derived production because of its major drawbacks, such as, high cost of the feedstocks, low butanol concentration in the fermentation broth and the co-production of low-value by-products acetone and ethanol. Here we analyze the main bottlenecks in microbial butanol production and summarize relevant advances from recently reported studies. Further needs and directions for developing real industrially applicable strains in butanol production are also discussed.

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