Toward solar biodiesel production from CO2 using engineered cyanobacteria
Metabolic engineering of cyanobacteria has received attention as a sustainable strategy to convert carbon dioxide to various biochemicals including fatty acid-derived biodiesel. Recently, Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942, a model cyanobacterium, has been engineered to convert CO2 to fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs) as biodiesel. Modular pathway has been constructed for FAEE production. Several metabolic engineering strategies were discussed to improve the production levels of FAEEs, including host engineering by improving CO2 fixation rate and photosynthetic efficiency. In addition, protein engineering of key enzyme in S. elongatus PCC 7942 was implemented to address issues on FAEE secretions toward sustainable FAEE production from CO2. Finally, advanced metabolic engineering will promote developing biosolar cell factories to convert CO2 to feasible amount of FAEEs toward solar biodiesel.