Bioproduction of chemicals using engineered microorganisms is routinely reported today, but only a few bioprocesses are functional in the large fermentation volumes that industry requires.
For a longer period, the lack of successful scale-up has been one of the most important challenges for engineers to solve, in order to replace oil-derived production with biobased production of chemicals.
"One central issue is that bioproduction in large-scale fermenters is limited by toxicities and stresses that allow evolution to reduce or eliminate production of chemicals by engineered cells.
This makes it expensive and challenging to commercialize biobased production systems in particular when large amounts of chemicals are needed" says Morten Sommer, Professor and Scientific Director of the Bacterial Synthetic Biology section at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark.
A new study made by scientists from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, just published in PNAS, suggests that cells can be engineered to overcome this evolutionary pressure and stably produce high levels of valuable chemicals.
Thus, the evolution can be circumvented and cells will be able to produce the biochemicals within an industrial time scale.