Section: New Results
Modeling synthetic microbial communities for improving productivity
Modelling, analysis and control of microbial community dynamics is a fast-developing subject with great potential implications in the understanding of natural processes and the enhancement of biootechnological processes. Within the IPL COSY (Section 7.2), we picked up the challenge to design and investigate the dynamics of synthetically engineered microbial communities with a consortium of Inria partners. In IBIS, in particular, we are addressing the design of a bacterial community of two E.coli strains, mimicking mutualistic relationships found in nature, and with the potential to outperform a single producer strain in the production of a heterologous protein. During the post-doctoral stay of Marco Mauri, we developed an ODE model of the key growth phenotypes of the community and their interactions, calibrated the model on literature data, and analysed the model for an in-depth understanding of the conditions supporting coexistence and of the tradeoffs encountered in this production process. The results are presented in a paper submitted for publication this year and will be tested experimentally in the framework of the recently-started PhD project of Maaike Sangster. Analysis of optimal community control problems as well as design and deployment of optimal control strategies will follow in synergy with other IPL COSY partners.