The smell of synthetic biology: engineering strategies for aroma compound production in yeast

Niël van Wyk*, Heinrich Kroukamp, Isak S. Pretorius

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
205 Downloads (Pure)


Yeast – especially Saccharomyces cerevisiae – have long been a preferred workhorse for the production of numerous recombinant proteins and other metabolites. S. cerevisiae is a noteworthy aroma compound producer, and has also been exploited to produce foreign bioflavour compounds. In the past few years, important strides have been made in unlocking the key elements in the biochemical pathways involved in the production of many aroma compounds. The expression of these biochemical pathways in yeast often involves the manipulation of the host strain to direct the flux towards certain precursors needed for the production of the given aroma compound. This review highlights recent advances in the bioengineering of yeast – including S. cerevisiae – to produce aroma compounds and bioflavours. To capitalise on recent advances in synthetic yeast genomics, this review presents yeast as a significant producer of bioflavours in a fresh context and proposes new directions for combining engineering and biology principles to improve the yield of targeted aroma compounds.
Original languageEnglish
Article number54
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • aroma
  • bioflavour
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • synthetic biology
  • yeast
  • Yeast 2.0


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