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CoNoS – Communities of Niche optimized Strains

Current bioprocesses for the production of value-added compounds are mainly based on pure cultures composed of microbial strains with versatile metabolic capabilities. In the comparably well-defined environment of a bioreactor, these capabilities are much less needed and lead to suboptimal production processes due to wasted carbon and energy. In this project, we aim to generate genome-reduced strains of the same species by targeting relevant, energy-demanding pathways such as amino acid biosynthesis. Enabling cross-feeding between streamlined strains will optimize resource utilization and generate superior Communities of Niche optimized Strains (CoNoS).

Division of Labour

Simbal - Single-cell mass balancing of synthetic co-cultures

The development of efficient synthetic co-cultures strongly depends on unravelling the cellular interplay. Therefore, access to quantitative single-cell data is the key to rationally design efficient co-cultures. In this project, complementary microfluidic cultivation platforms from FZ Jülich, University of Bielefeld and UFZ Leipzig, are combined with time-lapse fluorescence microscopy, computational image analysis and on-line mass spectrometry. This joint strategy will allow us to derive kinetic parameters of microbial cocultures with spatial and temporal single-cell resolution exceeding present limitations of population-based analyses. We aim for an improved understanding and quantitative analysis of key microbial performance indicators, including growth, substrate affinity and uptake as well as production. We will study the intercellular interactions in a synthetic co-culture model system comprisng a sucrose-utilizing Corynebacterium glutamicum strain producing L-lysine and an L-lysine-auxotrophic and naturally sucrose-negative Escherichia coli strain. With our expertise on microfluidic tools for applied biotechnology we will push forward the development of novel single-cell tools for application in strain and process development, for both pure and mixed culture bioprocesses.

Division of Labour


Single-cell mass balancing of synthetic co-cultures: Quantitative, spatio-temporally resolved analysis of mass exchange between microbial cells

CONOS Communities of Niche optimized Strains – a novel concept for improving biotechnological production of small molecules

Last Modified: 03.06.2022