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Advances in engineering the production of the natural red pigment lycopene: A systematic review from a biotechnology perspective
Journal of Advanced Research  (IF12.822),  Pub Date : 2022-06-24, DOI: 10.1016/j.jare.2022.06.010
Ya-Hui Wang, Rong-Rong Zhang, Yue Yin, Guo-Fei Tan, Guang-Long Wang, Hui Liu, Jing Zhuang, Jian Zhang, Fei-Yun Zhuang, Ai-Sheng Xiong


Lycopene is a natural red compound with potent antioxidant activity that can be utilized both as pigment and as a raw material in functional food, and so possesses good commercial prospects. The biosynthetic pathway has already been documented, which provides the foundation for lycopene production using biotechnology.

Aim of review

Although lycopene production has begun to take shape, there is still an urgent need to alleviate the yield of lycopene. Progress in this area can provide useful reference for metabolic engineering of lycopene production utilizing multiple approaches.

Key scientific concepts of review

Using conventional microbial fermentation approaches, biotechnologists have enhanced the yield of lycopene by selecting suitable host strains, utilizing various additives, and optimizing culture conditions. With the development of modern biotechnology, genetic engineering, protein engineering, and metabolic engineering have been applied for lycopene production. Extraction from natural plants is the main way for lycopene production at present. Based on the molecular mechanism of lycopene accumulation, the production of lycopene by plant bioreactor through genetic engineering has a good prospect. Here we summarized common strategies for optimizing lycopene production engineering from a biotechnology perspective, which are mainly carried out by microbial cultivation. We reviewed the challenges and limitations of this approach, summarized the critical aspects, and provided suggestions with the aim of potential future breakthroughs for lycopene production in plants.