Complete enzyme set for chlorophyll biosynthesis in Escherichia coli (Sci. Adv.)

Although the reactions and enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of chlorophyll are well known, the entire pathway has never before been reconstituted in a non-photosynthetic organism. Chen et al. have done this. The cells (E. coli) expressing the full pathway accumulate chlorophyll and look green! However, they are not photosynthetic, as chlorophyll is just one of many components needed for photosynthesis. The authors report, “Our results delineate a minimum set of enzymes required to make chlorophyll and establish a platform for engineering photosynthesis in a heterotrophic model organism.” (Summary by Mary Williams) Sci. Adv. 10.1126/sciadv.aaq1407