2014 Volume 31 Issue 5 Pages 465-482
Plant specialized metabolites play important roles in human life. These metabolites, however, are often produced in small amounts in particular plant species. Moreover, some of these species are endangered in their natural habitats, thus further limiting the availability of some plant specialized metabolites. Microbial production of these compounds may circumvent this problem. Considerable progress has been made in the microbial production of various plant specialized metabolites over the past decade. Now, the microbial production of these compounds is becoming robust, fine-tuned, and commercially relevant systems using the methods of synthetic biology. This review describes the progress of microbial production of plant specialized metabolites, including phenylpropanoids, flavonoids, stilbenoids, diarylheptanoids, phenylbutanoids, terpenoids, and alkaloids, and discusses future challenges in this field.