In silico Metabolic Design of Two-strain Biofilm Systems Predicts Enhanced Biomass Production and Biochemical Synthesis.

08:00 EDT 30th March 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "In silico Metabolic Design of Two-strain Biofilm Systems Predicts Enhanced Biomass Production and Biochemical Synthesis."

Engineered biofilm consortia have the potential to solve important biotechnological problems that have proved difficult for monoculture biofilms and planktonic consortia such as conversion of lignocellulosic material to useful biochemicals. While considerable experimental progress has been reported for engineering and characterizing biofilm consortia, the field still lacks in silico tools for simulation, design and optimization of stable, robust and productive designed consortia. We developed biofilm consortia metabolic models for two coculture systems centered around the ecological design motif of a primary cell type that utilizes a supplied electron donor and secretes acetate as a byproduct and a secondary cell type that consumes the acetate relieving byproduct inhibition on the primary cell type and enhancing overall system biomass. Our models predicted that distinct metabolic niches for the two cell types could be established by supplying electron donors and acceptors at opposite ends of the biofilm and that acetate consumption by the secondary cell type could increase total biomass accumulation and the synthesis of valuable biochemicals such as isobutanol by the primary cell type. System tunability was enhanced when each cell type was supplied with a unique terminal electron acceptor at opposite ends of the biofilm rather than competing for a common electron acceptor. Our model provided good qualitative agreement with data for a synthetic E. coli coculture system, suggesting that the proposed design rules may have wide applicability to engineered biofilm consortia. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Biotechnology journal
ISSN: 1860-7314
Pages: e1800511


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