Next Article in Journal
Molecular Diversity Required for the Formation of Autocatalytic Sets
Previous Article in Journal
Unity Makes Strength: A Review on Mutualistic Symbiosis in Representative Insect Clades
Previous Article in Special Issue
Synthetic Mutualism and the Intervention Dilemma
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview

Bottom-Up Approaches to Synthetic Cooperation in Microbial Communities

Physics of Living Systems, Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 December 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 14 February 2019 / Published: 26 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthetic Biology: From Living Computers to Terraformation)
Full-Text   |   PDF [36310 KB, uploaded 26 February 2019]   |  

Abstract

Microbial cooperation pervades ecological scales, from single-species populations to host-associated microbiomes. Understanding the mechanisms promoting the stability of cooperation against potential threats by cheaters is a major question that only recently has been approached experimentally. Synthetic biology has helped to uncover some of these basic mechanisms, which were to some extent anticipated by theoretical predictions. Moreover, synthetic cooperation is a promising lead towards the engineering of novel functions and enhanced productivity of microbial communities. Here, we review recent progress on engineered cooperation in microbial ecosystems. We focus on bottom-up approaches that help to better understand cooperation at the population level, progressively addressing the challenges of tackling higher degrees of complexity: spatial structure, multispecies communities, and host-associated microbiomes. We envisage cooperation as a key ingredient in engineering complex microbial ecosystems. View Full-Text
Keywords: synthetic microbial communities; mutualism; cheaters; host-microbiome interactions; synthetic ecology synthetic microbial communities; mutualism; cheaters; host-microbiome interactions; synthetic ecology
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Rodríguez Amor, D.; Dal Bello, M. Bottom-Up Approaches to Synthetic Cooperation in Microbial Communities. Life 2019, 9, 22.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Life EISSN 2075-1729 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top