Archives of Industrial Biotechnology


Development of microbial strains useful in co-culture systems and cellfree systems metabolic engineering.

Karen Freemont

For the study of organic or artificial interactions between cell populations, co-culture techniques have numerous biological applications. As multi-species cell consortia and other natural or synthetic ecology systems are widely acknowledged to hold enormous potential for fundamental research as well as novel industrial, medical, and environmental applications with numerous proof-of-principle studies in recent years, such techniques are of utmost importance in synthetic biology. How can co-cultures reach their full potential? The extracellular environment, which is governed by the experimental set-up, has a significant impact on cell-cell interactions in cocultures and must be carefully taken into account. Here, the problems and potential of co-culture experiments are reviewed along with an overview of current experimental and theoretical coculture setups in synthetic biology and related domains.