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Principles for designing synthetic microbial communities
- Johns, Nathan I, Blazejewski, Tomasz, Gomes, Antonio LC, Wang, Harris H
- Current opinion in microbiology 2016 v.31 pp. 146-153
- biocontainment, bioenergy, bioremediation, biotechnology, microbial communities, microorganisms, synthetic biology
- Advances in synthetic biology to build microbes with defined and controllable properties are enabling new approaches to design and program multispecies communities. This emerging field of synthetic ecology will be important for many areas of biotechnology, bioenergy and bioremediation. This endeavor draws upon knowledge from synthetic biology, systems biology, microbial ecology and evolution. Fully realizing the potential of this discipline requires the development of new strategies to control the intercellular interactions, spatiotemporal coordination, robustness, stability and biocontainment of synthetic microbial communities. Here, we review recent experimental, analytical and computational advances to study and build multi-species microbial communities with defined functions and behavior for various applications. We also highlight outstanding challenges and future directions to advance this field.