Bacterial exopolysaccharides: Biosynthesis pathways and engineering strategies
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Bacteria produce a wide range of exopolysaccharides which are synthesized via different biosynthesis pathways. The genes responsible for synthesis are often clustered within the genome of the respective production organism. A better understanding of the fundamental processes involved in exopolysaccharide biosynthesis and the regulation of these processes is critical toward genetic, metabolic and protein-engineering approaches to produce tailor-made polymers. These designer polymers will exhibit superior material properties targeting medical and industrial applications. Exploiting the natural design space for production of a variety of biopolymer will open up a range of new applications. Here, we summarize the key aspects of microbial exopolysaccharide biosynthesis and highlight the latest engineering approaches toward the production of tailor-made variants with the potential to be used as valuable renewable and high-performance products for medical and industrial applications.
Frontiers in Microbiology
Copyright 2015 Schmid, Sieber and Rehm. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Microbiology not elsewhere classified