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Calero, P., and P. I. Nikel (2018) Chasing bacterial chassis for metabolic engineering: A perspective review from classical to non-traditional microorganisms. Microbial Biotechnology, 12(1): 98-124. DOI: 10.1111/1751-7915.13292.

Selecting an appropriate bacterial host is no trivial task, essentially because different species will present advantages and disadvantages depending on the intended application. In this review, Patricia and Pablo discuss the state-of-the-art in the rational design and construction of robust bacterial chassis for metabolic engineering, presenting key examples of bacterial species that have secured a place in industrial bioproduction.

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Volke, D. C., and P. I. Nikel (2018) Getting bacteria in shape: Synthetic morphology approaches for the design of efficient microbial cell factories. Advanced BioSystems, DOI: 1800111. DOI: 10.1002/adbi.201800111.

Although neglected for some time, the spatial architecture of biocatalysts is becoming more and more important in metabolic engineering when designing cell factories. In this review, Daniel and Pablo argue that the tools of contemporary synthetic biology offer a unique opportunity to engineer synthetic bacterial morphologies (both in single cells and communities) for whole-cell biocatalysis.

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Nikel, P. I., and V. de Lorenzo (2018) Pseudomonas putida as a functional chassis for industrial biocatalysis: From native biochemistry to trans-metabolism. Metabolic Engineering, 50: 142-155. DOI: 10.1016/j.ymben.2018.05.005.

What are the characteristics of P. putida that make this bacterium so unique for engineering complex biochemistries? This article answers this question by highlighting the main value and promise of this species beyond its known capacity to host heterologous pathways from other microorganisms: the potential of stablishing completely artificial routes (trans-metabolism) for the synthesis of complex, new-to-Nature molecules.

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