6 January 2015

On the cover: Synbio Vanilla review

Synbio review

The vanilla flowers have no natural pollinators, therefore vanillin production is impossible without human intervention. How synthetic biology can be used to sustainble vanillin production is reviewed.

Vanillin–Bioconversion and Bioengineering of the Most Popular Plant Flavor and Its De Novo Biosynthesis in the Vanilla Orchid
Authors: Nethaji Gallage and Birger Lindberg Møller

Nethaji Gallage's review on vanillin biosynthetic pathway is cover story in Molecular Plant, Volume 8, Issue 1

Image by: Nethaji Gallage, Reunion Island 2011

In recent years, biotechnology-derived production of flavors and fragrances has expanded rapidly. The world’s most popular flavor, vanillin, is no exception. This review outlines the current state of biotechnology-based vanillin synthesis with the use of ferulic acid, eugenol, and glucose as substrates and bacteria, fungi, and yeasts as microbial production hosts. The de novo biosynthetic pathway of vanillin in the vanilla orchid and the possible applied uses of this new knowledge in the biotechnology-derived and pod-based vanillin industries are also highlighted.