Microalgae and cyanobacteria are easy to culture, with higher growth rates and photosynthetic efficiencies compared to terrestrial plants, and thus generating higher productivity. The concept of microalgal biorefinery is to assimilate carbon dioxide and convert it to chemical energy/value-added products, such as vitamins, carotenoids, fatty acids, proteins and nucleic acids, to be applied in bioenergy, health foods, aquaculture feed, pharmaceutical and medical fields. Therefore, microalgae are annotated as the third generation feedstock in bioenergy and biorefinery. In past decades, many studies thrived to improve the carbon sequestration efficiency as well as enhance value-added compounds from different algae, especially via genetic engineering, synthetic biology, metabolic design and regulation. From the traditional Agrobacterium-mediated transformation DNA to novel CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) technology applied in microalgae and cyanobacteria, this review has highlighted the genome editing technology for biorefinery that is a highly environmental friendly trend to sustainable and renewable development.
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