Research Topic

Advances and Trends in Microbial Production of Biopolymers and Their Building Blocks

About this Research Topic

Traditional petrochemical-derived polymers have generated a myriad of pollutants and resulted in serious environmental problems. New methods or technologies for the production of materials with polymer-like properties are urgent to be developed. To reduce the dependence on fossil resources, microbes are discovered and successfully used for producing various types of biopolymers most of which possess biodegradability and biocompatibility from renewable materials. Especially with the rapid development of synthetic biology in recent years, some biopolymers such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) and polylactic acid (PLA) have been commercialized and their applications have been expanded into high-end fields. As governments around the world have set carbon neutral goals, biopolymers show a brighter application prospect.

The low productivity, poor material properties, and high cost of biopolymers are remained and restrict the popular application. To make the production of biopolymers more competitive, research should focus on improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness. It is essential to enhance polymer’s synthesis from low-cost carbon sources or even waste materials through metabolic network analysis and regulation, and optimize the fermentation process by harnessing new-type bioreactor or new fermentation mode. To improve the material properties, more attention should be paid to random or block copolymers and composition control strategies. Meanwhile, greater efforts should be put into screening novel bacterial producers with new metabolic pathways for new high performance polymers or higher capacity for biopolymer production. Moreover, the efficient, low-cost biotechnology for polymer building blocks is worthy of attention.

This Research Topic aims to present a series of Original Research and Review articles covering the latest advances and trends in the microbial synthesis of polymers and their monomers. PHAs, PLA, and other polymers or copolymers are included in this topic. Chemicals that can be polymerized into polymers are all in the scope of this topic, such as lactic acid, succinic acid, 1,3-propanediol, glutaric acid, 3-hydroxypronic acid, ethylene glycol, terephthalic acid, isoprene, etc.

This Topic can include:
1, Description of novel microbes as biopolymer producers
2, Metabolic engineering to improve biopolymer productivity or properties
3, Microbial production of building blocks (lactic acid, succinic acid, 1,3-propanediol, glutaric acid, 3-hydroxypronic acid, isoprene and other monomers) for biopolymers
4, Solutions to reduce the overall cost of biopolymer production


Keywords: Biopolymers, Polymer Monomers, Bio-based Chemicals, Metabolic Engineering, Microbial Production, Bioprocess Development


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Traditional petrochemical-derived polymers have generated a myriad of pollutants and resulted in serious environmental problems. New methods or technologies for the production of materials with polymer-like properties are urgent to be developed. To reduce the dependence on fossil resources, microbes are discovered and successfully used for producing various types of biopolymers most of which possess biodegradability and biocompatibility from renewable materials. Especially with the rapid development of synthetic biology in recent years, some biopolymers such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) and polylactic acid (PLA) have been commercialized and their applications have been expanded into high-end fields. As governments around the world have set carbon neutral goals, biopolymers show a brighter application prospect.

The low productivity, poor material properties, and high cost of biopolymers are remained and restrict the popular application. To make the production of biopolymers more competitive, research should focus on improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness. It is essential to enhance polymer’s synthesis from low-cost carbon sources or even waste materials through metabolic network analysis and regulation, and optimize the fermentation process by harnessing new-type bioreactor or new fermentation mode. To improve the material properties, more attention should be paid to random or block copolymers and composition control strategies. Meanwhile, greater efforts should be put into screening novel bacterial producers with new metabolic pathways for new high performance polymers or higher capacity for biopolymer production. Moreover, the efficient, low-cost biotechnology for polymer building blocks is worthy of attention.

This Research Topic aims to present a series of Original Research and Review articles covering the latest advances and trends in the microbial synthesis of polymers and their monomers. PHAs, PLA, and other polymers or copolymers are included in this topic. Chemicals that can be polymerized into polymers are all in the scope of this topic, such as lactic acid, succinic acid, 1,3-propanediol, glutaric acid, 3-hydroxypronic acid, ethylene glycol, terephthalic acid, isoprene, etc.

This Topic can include:
1, Description of novel microbes as biopolymer producers
2, Metabolic engineering to improve biopolymer productivity or properties
3, Microbial production of building blocks (lactic acid, succinic acid, 1,3-propanediol, glutaric acid, 3-hydroxypronic acid, isoprene and other monomers) for biopolymers
4, Solutions to reduce the overall cost of biopolymer production


Keywords: Biopolymers, Polymer Monomers, Bio-based Chemicals, Metabolic Engineering, Microbial Production, Bioprocess Development


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 March 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 March 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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