Combining Engineering and Evolution to Create Novel Metabolic Mutualisms Between Species

  • Lon Chubiz
  • Sarah Douglas
  • William Harcombe
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1151)


Synthetic communities can be used as model systems for the molecular examination of species interactions. Manipulating synthetic communities to create novel beneficial interactions provides insight into the mechanisms of cooperation as well as the potential to improve the productivity of industrially relevant systems. Here, we present a general scheme for evolving a mutualism from a bacterial consortium in which one species consumes the by-products of another.

Key words

Synthetic ecology Consortia Cooperation Cross-feeding Evolution 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Organismic and Evolutionary BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Ecology, Evolution, and BehaviorUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA

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