The bright frontiers of microbial metabolic optogenetics

Scott A. Wegner, Rachel M. Barocio-Galindo, José L. Avalos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In recent years, light-responsive systems from the field of optogenetics have been applied to several areas of metabolic engineering with remarkable success. By taking advantage of light's high tunability, reversibility, and orthogonality to host endogenous processes, optogenetic systems have enabled unprecedented dynamical controls of microbial fermentations for chemical production, metabolic flux analysis, and population compositions in co-cultures. In this article, we share our opinions on the current state of this new field of metabolic optogenetics.We make the case that it will continue to impact metabolic engineering in increasingly new directions, with the potential to challenge existing paradigms for metabolic pathway and strain optimization as well as bioreactor operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102207
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Biology
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


  • Biosensors
  • Control
  • Cybergenetics
  • DBTL
  • Dynamic control of microbial fermentations: Design build test learn cycle
  • MMME
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Multivariate modular metabolic engineering
  • Optogenetics


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