A Combinatorial Algorithm for Microbial Consortia Synthetic Design

A. Julien-Laferriere, L. Bulteau, D. Parrot, A. Marchetti-Spaccamela, L. Stougie, S. Vinga, A. Mary, M.-F. Sagot

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Synthetic biology has boomed since the early 2000s when it started being shown that it was possible to efficiently synthetize compounds of interest in a much more rapid and effective way by using other organisms than those naturally producing them. However, to thus engineer a single organism, often a microbe, to optimise one or a collection of metabolic tasks may lead to difficulties when attempting to obtain a production system that is efficient, or to avoid toxic effects for the recruited microorganism. The idea of using instead a microbial consortium has thus started being developed in the last decade. This was motivated by the fact that such consortia may perform more complicated functions than could single populations and be more robust to environmental fluctuations. Success is however not always guaranteed. In particular, establishing which consortium is best for the production of a given compound or set thereof remains a great challenge. This is the problem we address in this paper. We thus introduce an initial model and a method that enable to propose a consortium to synthetically produce compounds that are either exogenous to it, or are endogenous but where interaction among the species in the consortium could improve the production line.
Original languageEnglish
Article number29182
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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