Heterologous expression and biochemical characterisation of cyanotoxin biosynthesis pathways
Covering: up to 2018
Marine and freshwater cyanobacteria produce a variety of toxic compounds that pose a threat to the health of humans, livestock and natural ecosystems world-wide. Significant research efforts have been directed towards understanding the biosynthesis of these cyanotoxins in an attempt to reduce their deleterious effects on water quality and, more recently, to harness their biotechnological potential. While a variety of complementary methods (such as bioinformatic analyses and isotope feeding studies) have been employed over the last three decades to address knowledge gaps in this field, this review focuses on the utility of heterologous expression and biochemical studies, including emerging technologies for engineering and expressing complete cyanotoxin gene clusters.