Biotechnological production of limonene in microorganisms

E. Jongedijk, K. Cankar, M. Buchhaupt, J. Schrader, H. Bouwmeester, J. Beekwilder

This mini review describes novel, biotechnology-based, ways of producing the monoterpene limonene. Limonene is applied in relatively highly priced products, such as fragrances, and also has applications with lower value but large production volume, such as biomaterials. Limonene is currently produced as a side product from the citrus juice industry, but the availability and quality are fluctuating and may be insufficient for novel bulk applications. Therefore, complementary microbial production of limonene would be interesting. Since limonene can be derivatized to high-value compounds, microbial platforms also have a great potential beyond just producing limonene. In this review, we discuss the ins and outs of microbial limonene production in comparison with plant-based and chemical production. Achievements and specific challenges for microbial production of limonene are discussed, especially in the light of bulk applications such as biomaterials.

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