The Current Opinion journals were developed out of the recognition that it is increasingly difficult for specialists to keep up to date with the expanding volume of information published in their subject. Elsevier’s Current Opinion journals comprise of 26 leading titles in life sciences and adjacent fields.

Current Opinion in Biotechnology

5-Year Impact Factor: 8.681
Issues per year: 6 issues
Editorial Board

Current Opinion in Biotechnology

The Current Opinion journals were developed out of the recognition that it is increasingly difficult for specialists to keep up to date with the expanding volume of information published in their subject. In Current Opinion in Biotechnology, we help the reader by providing in a systematic manner:
1. The views of experts on current advances in biotechnology in a clear and readable form.
2. Evaluations of the most interesting papers, annotated by experts, from the great wealth of original publications.

Division of the subject into sections
The subject of biotechnology is divided into themed sections, each of which is reviewed once a year. The amount of space devoted to each section is related to its importance.

Analytical biotechnology • Plant biotechnology • Food biotechnology • Energy biotechnology • Environmental biotechnology • Systems biology • Nanobiotechnology • Tissue, cell and pathway engineering • Chemical biotechnology • Pharmaceutical biotechnology

Selection of topics to be reviewed
Section Editors, who are major authorities in the field, are appointed by the Editors of the journal. They divide their section into a number of topics, ensuring that the field is comprehensively covered and that all issues of current importance are emphasised. Section Editors commission reviews from authorities on each topic that they have selected.

Authors write short review articles in which they present recent developments in their subject, emphasising the aspects that, in their opinion, are most important. In addition, they provide short annotations to the papers that they consider to be most interesting from all those published in their topic over the previous year.

Editorial Overview
Section Editors write a short overview at the beginning of the section to introduce the reviews and to draw the reader's attention to any particularly interesting developments.
This successful format has made Current Opinion in Biotechnology one of the most highly regarded and highly cited review journals in the field (Impact factor = 8.035).

Ethics in Publishing: General Statement

The Editor(s) and Publisher of this Journal believe that there are fundamental principles underlying scholarly or professional publishing. While this may not amount to a formal 'code of conduct', these fundamental principles with respect to the authors' paper are that the paper should: i) be the authors' own original work, which has not been previously published elsewhere, ii) reflect the authors' own research and analysis and do so in a truthful and complete manner, iii) properly credit the meaningful contributions of co-authors and co-researchers, iv) not be submitted to more than one journal for consideration, and v) be appropriately placed in the context of prior and existing research. Of equal importance are ethical guidelines dealing with research methods and research funding, including issues dealing with informed consent, research subject privacy rights, conflicts of interest, and sources of funding. While it may not be possible to draft a 'code' that applies adequately to all instances and circumstances, we believe it useful to outline our expectations of authors and procedures that the Journal will employ in the event of questions concerning author conduct. With respect to conflicts of interest, the Publisher now requires authors to declare any conflicts of interest that relate to papers accepted for publication in this Journal. A conflict of interest may exist when an author or the author's institution has a financial or other relationship with other people or organizations that may inappropriately influence the author's work. A conflict can be actual or potential and full disclosure to the Journal is the safest course. All submissions to the Journal must include disclosure of all relationships that could be viewed as presenting a potential conflict of interest. The Journal may use such information as a basis for editorial decisions and may publish such disclosures if they are believed to be important to readers in judging the manuscript. A decision may be made by the Journal not to publish on the basis of the declared conflict.

For more information, please refer to:

Best Cited over the last year.

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Bacteria as vitamin suppliers to their host: A gut microbiota perspective

Food-related lactic acid bacteria (LAB) as well as human gut commensals such as bifidobacteria can de novo synthesize and supply vitamins. This is important since humans lack the biosynthetic capacity for most vitamins and these must thus be provided exogenously. Although vitamins are present in a variety of foods, deficiencies still occur, mainly due to malnutrition as a result of insufficient food intake and because of poor eating habits. Fermented milks with high levels of B-group vitamins…

Volume 24, Issue 2, 01 April 2013, Pp 160-168
Jean Guy LeBlanc | Christian Milani | Graciela Savoy de Giori | Fernando Sesma | Douwe van Sinderen | Marco Ventura

Salt resistant crop plants

Soil salinity is a major constraint to agriculture. To improve salinity tolerance of crops, various traits can be incorporated, including ion exclusion, osmotic tolerance and tissue tolerance. We review the roles of a range of genes involved in salt tolerance traits. Different tissues and cells are adapted for specific and often diverse function, so it is important to express the genes in specific cell-types and to pyramid a range of traits. Modern biotechnology (marker-assisted selection or…

Volume 26, Issue , 01 April 2014, Pp 115-124
Stuart J. Roy | Sónia Negrão | Mark Tester

Transcriptome analysis using next-generation sequencing

Up to date research in biology, biotechnology, and medicine requires fast genome and transcriptome analysis technologies for the investigation of cellular state, physiology, and activity. Here, microarray technology and next generation sequencing of transcripts (RNA-Seq) are state of the art. Since microarray technology is limited towards the amount of RNA, the quantification of transcript levels and the sequence information, RNA-Seq provides nearly unlimited possibilities in modern…

Volume 24, Issue 1, 01 February 2013, Pp 22-30
Kai Oliver Mutz | Alexandra Heilkenbrinker | Maren Lönne | Johanna Gabriela Walter | Frank Stahl

Editing plant genomes with CRISPR/Cas9

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. CRISPR/Cas9 is a rapidly developing genome editing technology that has been successfully applied in many organisms, including model and crop plants. Cas9, an RNA-guided DNA endonuclease, can be targeted to specific genomic sequences by engineering a separately encoded guide RNA with which it forms a complex. As only a short RNA sequence must be synthesized to confer recognition of a new target, CRISPR/Cas9 is a relatively cheap and easy to implement technology that has…

Volume 32, Issue , 01 January 2015, Pp 76-84
Khaoula Belhaj | Angela Chaparro-Garcia | Sophien Kamoun | Nicola J. Patron | Vladimir Nekrasov

Electrobiocommodities: Powering microbial production of fuels and commodity chemicals from carbon dioxide with electricity

Electricity can be an energy source for microbially catalyzed production of fuels and other organic commodities from carbon dioxide. These electrobiocommodities (E-BCs) can be produced directly via electrode-to-microbe electron transfer or indirectly with electrochemically generated electron donors such as H 2 or formate. Producing E-BCs may be a more efficient and environmentally sustainable strategy for converting solar energy to biocommodities than approaches that rely on biological…

Volume 24, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 385-390
Derek R. Lovley | Kelly P. Nevin

Lignin plays a negative role in the biochemical process for producing lignocellulosic biofuels

A biochemical platform holds the most promising route toward lignocellulosic biofuels, in which polysaccharides are hydrolyzed by cellulase enzymes into simple sugars and fermented to ethanol by microbes. However, these polysaccharides are cross-linked in the plant cell walls with the hydrophobic network of lignin that physically impedes enzymatic deconstruction. A thermochemical pretreatment process is often required to remove or delocalize lignin, which may also generate inhibitors that…

Volume 27, Issue , 01 January 2014, Pp 98-45
Yining Zeng | Shuai Zhao | Shihui Yang | Shi You Ding

Potential of industrial biotechnology with cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae

Both cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae are promising organisms for sustainable production of bulk products such as food, feed, materials, chemicals and fuels. In this review we will summarize the potential and current biotechnological developments.Cyanobacteria are promising host organisms for the production of small molecules that can be secreted such as ethanol, butanol, fatty acids and other organic acids. Eukaryotic microalgae are interesting for products for which cellular storage is…

Volume 24, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 405-413
René H. Wijffels | Olaf Kruse | Klaas J. Hellingwerf

Lipid metabolism in microalgae distinguishes itself

Microalgae are attracting renewed interest from both the scientific and public communities owing to their potential applications as sustainable feed stocks for the production of biofuels and high value compounds, and environmental remediation. Recent advances in molecular and biochemical analyses of microalgae point toward interesting differences in lipid metabolism between algal species and in comparison to plants. These differences range from distinct acyl groups present in algal lipids, to a…

Volume 24, Issue 2, 01 April 2013, Pp 300-309
Bensheng Liu | Christoph Benning

Recent advances in understanding the role of cellulose accessibility in enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic substrates

Cellulose accessibility has been proposed as a key factor in the efficient bio-conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fermentable sugars. Factors affecting cellulose accessibility can be divided into direct factors that refer to accessible surface area of cellulose, and indirect factors referring to chemical composition such as lignin/hemicellulose content, and biomass structure-relevant factors (i.e. particle size, porosity). An overview of the current pretreatment technologies special focus…

Volume 27, Issue , 01 January 2014, Pp 150-158
Xianzhi Meng | Arthur Jonas Ragauskas

Metabolic engineering of yeast for production of fuels and chemicals

The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae offers many advantages as a platform cell factory for such applications. Already applied on a huge scale for bioethanol production, this yeast is easy to genetically engineer, its physiology, metabolism and genetics have been intensively studied and its robustness enables it to handle harsh industrial conditions. Introduction of novel pathways and optimization of its native cellular processes by metabolic engineering are rapidly expanding its range of…

Volume 24, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 398-404
Jens Nielsen | Christer Larsson | Antonius van Maris | Jack Pronk

Recent progress in nanomedicine: Therapeutic, diagnostic and theranostic applications

In recent years, the use of nanomedicine formulations for therapeutic and diagnostic applications has increased exponentially. Many different systems and strategies have been developed for drug targeting to pathological sites, as well as for visualizing and quantifying important (patho-) physiological processes. In addition, ever more efforts have been undertaken to combine diagnostic and therapeutic properties within a single nanomedicine formulation. These so-called nanotheranostics are able…

Volume 24, Issue 6, 01 December 2013, Pp 1159-1166
Larissa Y. Rizzo | Benjamin Theek | Gert Storm | Fabian Kiessling | Twan Lammers

A roadmap for interpreting13C metabolite labeling patterns from cells

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Measuring intracellular metabolism has increasingly led to important insights in biomedical research. 13 C tracer analysis, although less information-rich than quantitative 13 C flux analysis that requires computational data integration, has been established as a time-efficient method to unravel relative pathway activities, qualitative changes in pathway contributions, and nutrient contributions. Here, we review selected key issues in interpreting 13 C metabolite labeling…

Volume 34, Issue , 01 August 2015, Pp 189-201
Joerg M. Buescher | Maciek R. Antoniewicz | Laszlo G. Boros | Shawn C. Burgess | Henri Brunengraber | Clary B. Clish | Ralph J. DeBerardinis | Olivier Feron | Christian Frezza | Bart Ghesquiere | Eyal Gottlieb | Karsten Hiller | Russell G. Jones | Jurre J. Kamphorst | Richard G. Kibbey | Alec C. Kimmelman | Jason W. Locasale | Sophia Y. Lunt | Oliver D.K. Maddocks | Craig Malloy | Christian M. Metallo | Emmanuelle J. Meuillet | Joshua Munger | Katharina Nöh | Joshua D. Rabinowitz | Markus Ralser | Uwe Sauer | Gregory Stephanopoulos | Julie St-Pierre | Daniel A. Tennant | Christoph Wittmann | Matthew G. Vander Heiden | Alexei Vazquez | Karen Vousden | Jamey D. Young | Nicola Zamboni | Sarah Maria Fendt

Metabolic potential of endophytic bacteria

The bacterial endophytic microbiome promotes plant growth and health and beneficial effects are in many cases mediated and characterized by metabolic interactions. Recent advances have been made in regard to metabolite production by plant microsymbionts showing that they may produce a range of different types of metabolites. These substances play a role in defense and competition, but may also be needed for specific interaction and communication with the plant host. Furthermore, few examples of…

Volume 27, Issue , 01 January 2014, Pp 30-37
Günter Brader | Stéphane Compant | Birgit Mitter | Friederike Trognitz | Angela Sessitsch

Microfluidic cell culture

Microfluidic techniques allow precise control of fluids and particles at the nanoliter scale and facilitate simultaneous manipulation and analysis of cultured cells, starting from a single cell to larger populations and to intact tissues. The use of integrated microfluidic devices has considerably advanced the fields of quantitative and systems biology. In this review, we survey the recent developments in microfluidic cell culture, and discuss not only the advantages but also limitations of…

Volume 25, Issue , 01 January 2014, Pp 95-102
Matthias Mehling | Savaş Tay

Linking microbial community structure, interactions and function in anaerobic digesters using new molecular techniques

Over the last decade there has been a rapid development in culture-independent techniques for exploring microbial communities, which have led to new insights into their structure and function in both natural environments and engineered systems. This review focuses on some of the most important recent advances and their applications to the diverse microbial communities associated with anaerobic digestion. The use of these approaches in combination with complementary imaging techniques, chemical…

Volume 27, Issue , 01 January 2014, Pp 55-64
Inka Vanwonterghem | Paul D. Jensen | Dang P. Ho | Damien J. Batstone | Gene W. Tyson

Food commodities from microalgae

The prospect of sustainable production of food ingredients from photoautotrophic microalgae was reviewed. Clearly, there is scope for microalgal oils to replace functions of major vegetable oils, and in addition to deliver health benefits to food products. Furthermore, with a limited production surface, a substantial portion of the European Union market could be supplied with edible oils and proteins from microalgae. Yet, before microalgal ingredients can become genuinely sustainable and cost…

Volume 24, Issue 2, 01 April 2013, Pp 169-177
René B. Draaisma | René H. Wijffels | P. M. Slegers | Laura B. Brentner | Adip Roy | Maria J. Barbosa

Bioactive fungal polysaccharides as potential functional ingredients in food and nutraceuticals

Fungal bioactive polysaccharides deriving mainly from the Basidiomycetes family (and some from the Ascomycetes) and medicinal mushrooms have been well known and widely used in far Asia as part of traditional diet and medicine, and in the last decades have been the core of intense research for the understanding and the utilization of their medicinal properties in naturally produced pharmaceuticals. In fact, some of these biopolymers (mainly β-glucans or heteropolysaccharides) have already made…

Volume 26, Issue , 01 April 2014, Pp 162-173
Ioannis Giavasis

Microfluidic 3D cell culture: From tools to tissue models

© 2015 The Authors. The transition from 2D to 3D cell culture techniques is an important step in a trend towards better biomimetic tissue models. Microfluidics allows spatial control over fluids in micrometer-sized channels has become a valuable tool to further increase the physiological relevance of 3D cell culture by enabling spatially controlled co-cultures, perfusio n flow and spatial control over of signaling gradients. This paper reviews most important developments in microfluidic 3D…

Volume 35, Issue , 01 December 2015, Pp 118-126
Vincent van Duinen | Sebastiaan J. Trietsch | Jos Joore | Paul Vulto | Thomas Hankemeier

Universal quantitative NMR analysis of complex natural samples

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is a universal and quantitative analytical technique. Being a unique structural tool, NMR also competes with metrological techniques for purity determination and reference material analysis. In pharmaceutical research, applications of quantitative NMR (qNMR) cover mostly the identification and quantification of drug and biological metabolites. Offering an unbiased view of the sample composition, and the possibility to simultaneously quantify multiple compounds,…

Volume 25, Issue , 01 February 2014, Pp 51-59
Charlotte Simmler | José G. Napolitano | James B. McAlpine | Shao Nong Chen | Guido F. Pauli

Nanotoxicity: Challenging the myth of nano-specific toxicity

The analysis of nanoparticle (NP) hazard is currently a major research pre-occupation for particle toxicologists since there is a pressing requirement for a comprehensive understanding of nanoparticle hazard because of the wide spectrum of NP varying in composition, shape and size that require testing for risk assessment. The Biologically Effective Doses (BEDs) of nanoparticles, the dose entity that drives toxicity include charge, solubility, contaminants, shape and the ability to translocate…

Volume 24, Issue 4, 01 August 2013, Pp 724-734
Ken Donaldson | Craig A. Poland

Microbial nanowires for bioenergy applications

Microbial nanowires are electrically conductive filaments that facilitate long-range extracellular electron transfer. The model for electron transport along Shewanella oneidensis nanowires is electron hopping/tunneling between cytochromes adorning the filaments. Geobacter sulfurreducens nanowires are comprised of pili that have metal-like conductivity attributed to overlapping pi-pi orbitals of aromatic amino acids. The nanowires of Geobacter species have been implicated in direct interspecies…

Volume 27, Issue , 01 January 2014, Pp 88-95
Nikhil S. Malvankar | Derek R. Lovley

Microbial production of fatty acid-derived fuels and chemicals

Fatty acid metabolism is an attractive route to produce liquid transportation fuels and commodity oleochemicals from renewable feedstocks. Recently, genes and enzymes, which comprise metabolic pathways for producing fatty acid-derived compounds (e.g. esters, alkanes, olefins, ketones, alcohols, polyesters) have been elucidated and used in engineered microbial hosts. The resulting strains often generate products at low percentages of maximum theoretical yields, leaving significant room for…

Volume 24, Issue 6, 01 December 2013, Pp 1044-1053
Rebecca M. Lennen | Brian F. Pfleger

Central role of cyclic electron transport around photosystem I in the regulation of photosynthesis

Cyclic electron transport around photosystem I generates ATP without the accumulation of NADPH in chloroplasts. In angiosperms, electron transport consists of a PGR5-PGRL1 protein-dependent pathway and a chloroplast NADH dehydrogenase-like complex-dependent pathway. Most likely, the PGR5-PGRL1 pathway corresponds to the cyclic phosphorylation discovered by Arnon and contributes mainly to δpH formation in photosynthesis. ATP synthesis utilizes this δpH formed by both linear and PSI cyclic…

Volume 26, Issue , 01 April 2014, Pp 25-30
Toshiharu Shikanai

Opportunities and challenges in biological lignin valorization

© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Lignin is a primary component of lignocellulosic biomass that is an underutilized feedstock in the growing biofuels industry. Despite the fact that lignin depolymerization has long been studied, the intrinsic heterogeneity of lignin typically leads to heterogeneous streams of aromatic compounds, which in turn present significant technical challenges when attempting to produce lignin-derived chemicals where purity is often a concern. In Nature, microorganisms often encounter…

Volume 42, Issue , 01 December 2016, Pp 40-53
Gregg T. Beckham | Christopher W. Johnson | Eric M. Karp | Davinia Salvachúa | Derek R. Vardon

Gut metabotypes govern health effects of dietary polyphenols

Polyphenols are thought to be responsible for some of the health effects conferred by a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. Both the formation of bioactive polyphenol-derived metabolites and the modulation of colonic microbiota contribute to these health benefits. Therefore, one cannot infer biological responses from dietary intake records without considering polyphenol-microbiota interactions. However, the latter are complex and subject to large interindividual variability, leading to different…

Volume 24, Issue 2, 01 April 2013, Pp 220-225
Selin Bolca | Tom Van de Wiele | Sam Possemiers