Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 27–34 | Cite as

Advances in heterologous biosynthesis of plant and fungal natural products by modular co-culture engineering

  • Tingting Chen
  • Yiyao Zhou
  • Yinghua Lu
  • Haoran ZhangEmail author


Heterologous biosynthesis has been long pursued as a viable approach for high efficiency production of natural products with various industrial values. Conventional methods for heterologous biosynthesis use the mono-culture of an engineered microbe for accommodating the whole target biosynthetic pathway to produce the desired product. The emergence of modular co-culture engineering, which divides the pathway between multiple co-culture strains, presents a new perspective to conduct heterologous biosynthesis and improve the bioproduction performance of natural products. This review highlights recent advances in utilizing the modular co-culture engineering approaches to address the challenges of plant and fungal natural product biosynthesis. Potential directions for future research in this promising field are also discussed.


Bioproduction improvement Heterologous biosynthesis Modular co-culture engineering Natural product Plants and fungus 



This work is supported by startup research funds provided by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Tingting Chen is a recipient of CSC PhD fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Biochemical EngineeringXiamen UniversityXiamenChina
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Biochemical EngineeringRutgers, The State University of New JerseyPiscatawayUSA

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