Most of our knowledge of amino acid biosynthesis is implied from elegant studies on the biochemistry and molecular biology of bacterial amino acid biosynthesis. So far all this work deals with heterotrophic organisms completely dependent on their nutritional environment. Some researchers have therefore focused their attention on the problem, what happens to the regulation of a biosynthetic pathway during evolution to autotrophic growth. In cyanobacteria, there are few examples of metabolic controls by repression and de-repression of enzyme biosynthesis of the kind that are well documented for other microorganisms. In contrast, several cases have been reported demonstrating enzymic control by allosteric alterations. Many of the enzymes suspected to be involved in amino acid metabolism in cyanobacteria have not been isolated or characterized. Consequently, little is known of the molecular biology of these enzymes. This review will give a survey of information pertinent to study of amino acid biosynthesis and its regulation in cyanobacteria.
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