Heterologous production of resveratrol in bacterial hosts: current status and perspectives

  • A. Braga
  • P. Ferreira
  • J. Oliveira
  • I. Rocha
  • N. Faria


The polyphenol resveratrol (3,5,4′-trihydroxystilbene) is a well-known plant secondary metabolite, commonly used as a medical ingredient and a nutritional supplement. Due to its health-promoting properties, the demand for resveratrol is expected to continue growing. This stilbene can be found in different plants, including grapes, berries (blackberries, blueberries and raspberries), peanuts and their derived food products, such as wine and juice. The commercially available resveratrol is usually extracted from plants, however this procedure has several drawbacks such as low concentration of the product of interest, seasonal variation, risk of plant diseases and product stability. Alternative production processes are being developed to enable the biotechnological production of resveratrol by genetically engineering several microbial hosts, such as Escherichia coli, Corynebacterium glutamicum, Lactococcus lactis, among others. However, these bacterial species are not able to naturally synthetize resveratrol and therefore genetic modifications have been performed. The application of emerging metabolic engineering offers new possibilities for strain and process optimization. This mini-review will discuss the recent progress on resveratrol biosynthesis in engineered bacteria, with a special focus on the metabolic engineering modifications, as well as the optimization of the production process. These strategies offer new tools to overcome the limitations and challenges for microbial production of resveratrol in industry.


Bacteria Malonyl-CoA Metabolic engineering Pathway engineering Resveratrol 



We would like to thank the European Union Framework Program 7 “BacHBerry” (, Project No. FP7-613793 for financial support, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) under the scope of the strategic funding of UID/BIO/04469 unit, COMPETE 2020 (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006684) and BiotecNorte operation (NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000004) funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the scope of Norte2020 - Programa Operacional Regional do Norte.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Braga
    • 1
  • P. Ferreira
    • 1
  • J. Oliveira
    • 1
  • I. Rocha
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. Faria
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre of Biological EngineeringUniversity of MinhoBragaPortugal
  2. 2.Instituto de Tecnologia Química e BiológicaUniversidade Nova de LisboaOeirasPortugal

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