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High-value biomass from microalgae production platforms: strategies and progress based on carbon metabolism and energy conversion

Sun, Han, Zhao, Weiyang, Mao, Xuemei, Li, Yuelian, Wu, Tao, Chen, Feng
Biotechnology for biofuels 2018 v.11 no.1 pp. 227
algae culture, biofuels, biomass, biosynthesis, carbon, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide fixation, carbon metabolism, carboxylic acids, economic sustainability, energy conversion, engineering, environmental factors, glycolysis, high-value products, income, microalgae, microbial physiology, photosynthesis, tricarboxylic acid cycle
Microalgae are capable of producing sustainable bioproducts and biofuels by using carbon dioxide or other carbon substances in various cultivation modes. It is of great significance to exploit microalgae for the economical viability of biofuels and the revenues from high-value bioproducts. However, the industrial performance of microalgae is still challenged with potential conflict between cost of microalgae cultivation and revenues from them, which is mainly ascribed to the lack of comprehensive understanding of carbon metabolism and energy conversion. In this review, we provide an overview of the recent advances in carbon and energy fluxes of light-dependent reaction, Calvin–Benson–Bassham cycle, tricarboxylic acid cycle, glycolysis pathway and processes of product biosynthesis in microalgae, with focus on the increased photosynthetic and carbon efficiencies. Recent strategies for the enhanced production of bioproducts and biofuels from microalgae are discussed in detail. Approaches to alter microbial physiology by controlling light, nutrient and other environmental conditions have the advantages of increasing biomass concentration and product yield through the efficient carbon conversion. Engineering strategies by regulating carbon partitioning and energy route are capable of improving the efficiencies of photosynthesis and carbon conversion, which consequently realize high-value biomass. The coordination of carbon and energy fluxes is emerging as the potential strategy to increase efficiency of carbon fixation and product biosynthesis. To achieve more desirable high-value products, coordination of multi-stage cultivation with engineering and stress-based strategies occupies significant positions in a long term.