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Title: Synthetic Ecology of Microbes: Mathematical Models and Applications

As the indispensable role of natural microbial communities in many aspects of life on Earth is uncovered, the bottom-up engineering of synthetic microbial consortia with novel functions is becoming an attractive alternative to engineering single-species systems. Here, we summarize recent work on synthetic microbial communities with a particular emphasis on open challenges and opportunities in environmental sustainability and human health. We next provide a critical overview of mathematical approaches, ranging from phenomenological to mechanistic, to decipher the principles that govern the function, dynamics and evolution of microbial ecosystems. Lastly, we present our outlook on key aspects of microbial ecosystems and synthetic ecology that require further developments, including the need for more efficient computational algorithms, a better integration of empirical methods and model-driven analysis, the importance of improving gene function annotation, and the value of a standardized library of well-characterized organisms to be used as building blocks of synthetic communities.
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Boston Univ., Boston, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Molecular Biology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 428; Journal Issue: PB; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-2836
Research Org:
Boston Univ., MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; Microbial communities; Synthetic Biology; Systems Biology; Metabolic network modeling; Metabolic engineering
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1436508