Microbial production of fuels and chemicals from renewable carbohydrate feedstocks offers sustainable and economically attractive alternatives to their petroleum-based production. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae offers many advantages as a platform cell factory for such applications. Already applied on a huge scale for bioethanol production, this yeast is easy to genetically engineer, its physiology, metabolism and genetics have been intensively studied and its robustness enables it to handle harsh industrial conditions. Introduction of novel pathways and optimization of its native cellular processes by metabolic engineering are rapidly expanding its range of cell-factory applications. Here we review recent scientific progress in metabolic engineering of S. cerevisiae for the production of bioethanol, advanced biofuels, and chemicals.
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