Chapter

Reprogramming Microbial Metabolic Pathways

Volume 64 of the series Subcellular Biochemistry pp 43-71

Date:

Evolutionary Engineering for Industrial Microbiology

  • Niti VaneeAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical and Life Science Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • , Adam B. FisherAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical and Life Science Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • , Stephen S. FongAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical and Life Science Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University Email author 

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Abstract

Superficially, evolutionary engineering is a paradoxical field that balances competing interests. In natural settings, evolution iteratively selects and enriches subpopulations that are best adapted to a particular ecological niche using random processes such as genetic mutation. In engineering desired approaches utilize rational prospective design to address targeted problems. When considering details of evolutionary and engineering processes, more commonality can be found. Engineering relies on detailed knowledge of the problem parameters and design properties in order to predict design outcomes that would be an optimized solution. When detailed knowledge of a system is lacking, engineers often employ algorithmic search strategies to identify empirical solutions. Evolution epitomizes this iterative optimization by continuously diversifying design options from a parental design, and then selecting the progeny designs that represent satisfactory solutions. In this chapter, the technique of applying the natural principles of evolution to engineer microbes for industrial applications is discussed to highlight the challenges and principles of evolutionary engineering.

Keywords

Cellular objectives Directed evolution Diversity Engineering objectives Evolutionary engineering Fitness landscapes Industrial microbiology Screening and selection