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Chapter 6 Synthetic biology of cyanobacteria

Catarina C Pacheco, Eunice A. Ferreira, Paulo Oliveira and Paula Tamagnini

Abstract

Synthetic biology has revolutionized the engineering and manipulation of microorganisms with valuable contributions to fundamental and applied science. In this context, cyanobacteria emerge as potential contenders as chassis, enabling the harnessing of solar energy and CO2 fixation for the production of a variety of compounds. This chapter reviews key aspects of cyanobacterial synthetic biology, focusing on the strains that meet the characteristics to be used as chassis, namely Synechocystis and the fast-growing Synechococcus strains, the development of genome-scale metabolic models as tools to predict chassis behavior and design metabolic engineering strategies and; the significant efforts that are being made to expand and refine the available tools for the rational design of synthetic devices and for the genetic manipulation of this group of organisms. Furthermore, a selection of works focusing on the production of compounds using a synthetic biology-based approach is summarized and, the current limitations and future perspectives for cyanobacterial synthetic biology are discussed.

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