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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2012 Oct;23(5):798-802. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2012.02.001. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

Towards synthetic microbial consortia for bioprocessing.

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Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th St, Troy, NY 12180, USA.


The use of microbial consortia for bioprocessing has been limited by our ability to reliably control community composition and function simultaneously. Recent advances in synthetic biology have enabled population-level coordination and control of ecosystem stability and dynamics. Further, new experimental and computational tools for screening and predicting community behavior have also been developed. The integration of synthetic biology with metabolic engineering at the community level is vital to our ability to apply system-level approaches to building and optimizing synthetic consortia for bioprocessing applications. This review details new methods, tools and opportunities that together have the potential to enable a new paradigm of bioprocessing using synthetic microbial consortia.

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