Christian Doppler Laboratory for Optimized Expression of Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes, Institute of Chemical, Environmental and Bioscience Engineering, TU Wien, Gumpendorfer Str. 1a, A-1060, Vienna, Austria. [Email]
As photosynthetic microbes, cyanobacteria are attractive hosts for the production of high-value molecules from CO2 and light. Strategies for genetic engineering and tightly controlled gene expression are essential for the biotechnological application of these organisms. Numerous heterologous or native promoter systems were used for constitutive and inducible expression, yet many of them suffer either from leakiness or from a low expression output. Anyway, in recent years, existing systems have been improved and new promoters have been discovered or engineered for cyanobacteria. Moreover, alternative tools and strategies for expression control such as riboswitches, riboregulators or genetic circuits have been developed. In this mini-review, we provide a broad overview on the different tools and approaches for the regulation of gene expression in cyanobacteria and explain their advantages and disadvantages.