F. M. Schempp, L. Drummond, M. Buchhaupt, J. Schrader
Terpenoid flavor and fragrance compounds are of high interest to the aroma industry. Microbial production offers an alternative sustainable access to the desired terpenoids independent of natural sources. Genetically engineered microorganisms can be used to synthesize terpenoids from cheap and renewable resources. Due to its modular architecture, terpenoid biosynthesis is especially well suited for the microbial cell factory concept: a platform host engineered for a high flux toward the central C5 prenyl diphosphate precursors enables the production of a broad range of target terpenoids just by varying the pathway modules converting the C5 intermediates to the product of interest. In this review typical terpenoid flavor and fragrance compounds marketed or under development by biotech and aroma companies are given, and the specificities of the aroma market are discussed. The main part of this work focuses on key strategies and recent advances to engineer microbes to become efficient terpenoid producers.