Trends in biotechnology. 2022-12-01; 40.12: 1405-1414.

SynMADE: synthetic microbiota across diverse ecosystems

Moon TS

PMID: 36117027


The past two decades have witnessed rapid advances in engineering individual microbial strains to produce biochemicals and biomaterials. However, engineering microbial consortia has been relatively slow. Using systems and synthetic biology approaches, researchers have been developing tools for engineering complex microbiota. In this opinion article, I discuss future directions and visions regarding developing microbiota as a biomanufacturing host. Specifically, I propose that we can develop the soil microbial community itself as a huge bioreactor. Ultimately, researchers will provide a generalizable system that enables us to understand a microbial consortium's interaction and metabolism on diverse temporal and spatial scales to address global problems, including the climate crisis, food inequality, the issue of waste, and sustainable bioproduction.

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