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Recombinant bacteria for environmental release: what went wrong and what we have learnt from it

AuthorsLorenzo, Víctor de
Recombinant antibodies
Synthetic biology
Issue Date29-Jan-2009
PublisherEuropean Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
CitationClinical Microbiology and Infection, Volume 15 Issue s1, Pages 63 - 65
AbstractFrom a biotechnological point of view, bacteria can be seen as either pathogens to target with new drugs or as biocatalysts for large-scale processes in industry, agriculture or the environment. The last includes the exploitation of bacterial activities for bioremediation of toxic waste either in situ or ex situ. The onset of genetic engineering in the late 70s opened the possibility of tailoring recombinant bacteria for environmental release, aimed at biodegradation of otherwise recalcitrant chemicals. However, a few decades later the outcome of this prospect has been quite meager. The literature counts very few cases where the use of genetically engineered bacteria has been proven to be more efficient than natural microorganisms in elimination of recalcitrant compounds under natural (not laboratory) conditions. Fortunately, the emergence of Systems and Synthetic Biology in the last few years is helping to identify what were the caveats of the former approaches and how to correct them. In addition, robust design concepts imported from process engineering provides fresh approaches to the challenge of designing microorganisms á la carte for environmental applications.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-0691.2008.02683.x
Appears in Collections:(CNB) Artículos
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