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Open Access Editorial

The scientific impact of microbial cell factories

Maurilio De Felice1, Diethard Mattanovich2, Maria Papagianni3, Grzegorz Wegrzyn4 and Antonio Villaverde567*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Structural and Functional Biology, University of Naples Federico II, via Cinthia, 80126 Naples, Italy

2 University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna, Department of Biotechnology, Vienna, Austria

3 Department of Hygiene and Technology of Food of Animal Origin, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54006, Greece

4 Department of Molecular Biology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland

5 Institute for Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

6 Department of Genetics and Microbiology, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

7 CIBER de BioingenierĂ­a, Biomateriales y Nanomedicina (CIBER-BBN), Bellaterra, 08193 Barcelona, Spain

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Microbial Cell Factories 2008, 7:33  doi:10.1186/1475-2859-7-33

Published: 1 December 2008

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

Microbial Cell Factories was launched in 2002 under an Open Access policy, to cover a gap in the current offer of the scientific literature in Biotechnology and Applied Microbiology areas. The microbial cell factory concept, although present as a side topic within the scope of many journals in the field, deserves a specific attention as a particular, well defined issue in the microbial production and transformation of biotechnologically relevant substances. Intriguingly, the Cell Factory concept stresses the relevance of host cell genetics and metabolism in the context of the production process, and focus on the physiological aspects of the productive event. Since 2002, the journal has published more than 170 relevant manuscripts in form of Research articles, Technical notes, Reviews and Commentaries, highlighting the role of the hosting cell from both biological and technological sides. The diversity of microbial cell types being incorporated as cell factories (namely bacteria, archae, yeast and filamentous fungi), the methodological adaptation of productive processes (through new genetic engineering tools, microreactors, metagenomic approaches etc) and the diversity of fields in which cell factories become critical (structural biology, food microbiology, natural products, biominery, nanotechnology and biosensing among others), has dramatically expanded the scope covered by Microbial Cell Factories.