To improve microbial fermentation as an efficient way to sustainably produce green chemicals from
renewable resources, novel production organisms are being explored. Extremophiles, in general, and moderate
thermophiles in particular, offer important advantages over well-known mesophilic biotechnology hosts, such as
Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These advantages include robust performance at temperatures that allow
high substrate and product solubility, decreased contamination risk and growth conditions that match with the optimal
conditions for enzymes used in saccharification processes, allowing efficient simultaneous saccharification and
fermentation. In this review we will evaluate the use of extremophiles for the production of bio-based chemicals, with the
main focus on the potential of these organisms for efficient production of bulk products such as platform chemicals.
Examples include the application of thermophilic Bacillus and Clostridium species for organic acid production.
Furthermore, we will discuss the development of genetic tools for biotechnologically-relevant extremophiles, as this is
crucial for optimizing their specific production capacities, as well as for developing them as industrial platform
Keywords: Biorefinery, building block chemicals, extremophiles, genetic tool development, green chemicals, halophiles,
metabolic engineering, sustainability, thermophiles.
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