Genome programs changed our view of bacteria as cell factories, by making them amenable to systematic rational improvement. As a first step, isolated genes (including those of the metagenome), or small gene clusters are improved and expressed in a variety of hosts. New techniques derived from functional genomics (transcriptome, proteome and metabolome studies) now allow users to shift from this single-gene approach to a more integrated view of the cell, where it is more and more considered as a factory. One can expect in the near future that bacteria will be entirely reprogrammed, and perhaps even created de novo from bits and pieces, to constitute man-made cell factories. This will require exploration of the landscape made of neighbourhoods of all the genes in the cell. Present work is already paving the way for that futuristic view of bacteria in industry.
Danchin, A. (2004, November 10). The bag or the spindle: The cell factory at the time of systems’ biology. Microbial Cell Factories. https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2859-3-13