Review: Synthetic biology approaches for the production of plant metabolites in unicellular organisms ($)

The excellent review by Moses et al. starts by defining the oft-confused terms  metabolite engineering and systems biology. Although systems biology can contribute to the former, it is distinguished by the use of “defined ‘parts’ that are easily combined and exchanged, using standardized workflows and often combined with modelling and computational methods.” The authors go on to describe the use of systems biology tools for the production of high-value metabolites in single celled hosts (yeast, algae, and bacteria). This review spans a wide breadth of topics, from strengths and weakness of different unicellular hosts, to approaches for regulating gene expression level, and protein engineering and scaffolding. As well as providing a nice overview of this rapidly-advancing field for scientists, this review is also a great resource for use in teaching. J. Exp. Bot. 10.1093/jxb/erx119