Metabolic Engineering of Yeast to Produce Fatty Acid-derived Biofuels: Bottlenecks and Solutions
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Fatty acid-derived biofuels can be a better solution than bioethanol to replace petroleum fuel, since they have similar energy content and combustion properties as current transportation fuels. The environmentally friendly microbial fermentation process has been used to synthesize advanced biofuels from renewable feedstock. Due to their robustness as well as the high tolerance to fermentation inhibitors and phage contamination, yeast strains such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Yarrowia lipolytica have attracted tremendous attention in recent studies regarding the production of fatty acid-derived biofuels, including fatty acids, fatty acid ethyl esters, fatty alcohols, and fatty alkanes. However, the native yeast strains cannot produce fatty acids and fatty acid-derived biofuels in large quantities. To this end, we have summarized recent publications in this review on metabolic engineering of yeast strains to improve the production of fatty acid-derived biofuels, identified the bottlenecks that limit the productivity of biofuels, and categorized the appropriate approaches to overcome these obstacles.