Biotechnological production of enantiomeric pure lactic acid from renewable resources: recent achievements, perspectives, and limits
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Lactic acid (LA) is an important and versatile chemical that can be produced from renewable resources such as biomass. LA is used in the food, pharmaceutical, and polymers industries and is produced by microorganism fermentation; however, most microorganisms cannot directly utilize biomass such as starchy materials and cellulose. Here, we summarize LA production using several kinds of genetically modified microorganisms, such as LA bacteria, Escherichia coli, Corynebacterium glutamicum, and yeast. Using gene manipulation and metabolic engineering, the yield and optical purity of LA produced from biomass has been significantly improved. In this review, the drawbacks as well as improvements of LA production by fermentation is discussed.