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Microbial co-cultures (consortia)

Call for Papers

New Content ItemMicrobial Cell Factories invites submissions to a new collection on Microbial co-cultures. Microbial co-cultures (consortia) are two or more interacting microbial populations that can be found in many diverse environmental niches. Interest has recently emerged in engineering microbial consortia, because they exhibit appealing features, such as sophisticated metabolic capabilities and robustness, therefore, can perform complicated tasks that are more difficult or even impossible for individual populations. In some cases, balancing multiple tasks so that they are both efficiently completed within a single organism is extremely challenging. Instead, compartmentalizing the molecular components of the entire process in different organisms would allow the metabolism of each cell type to be specifically tuned to the best status, and therefore avoid the need for trade-offs in a single cell type. The existence of such cooperation and division of labor are very common in nature, where organisms establish different kinds of mutual relationships. We can easily find such examples, including bacteria for anaerobic methane oxidation, plants and bacteria for global nitrogen fixation, and gut microbes facilitate food utilization and metabolite transfer in higher animals. It is also noticed that industry has borrowed the ideas from nature to apply microbial consortia in food processing and biological waste treatment. Recently, the synthetic microbial consortia were also built to target biomass utilization, environmental remediation, and natural products.

Since microbial consortia can carry out more complex functions and endure more changeable environments than individual organisms, they represent an important new frontier for synthetic biology. Currently, more and more researchers are developing powerful tools for achieving stable and regulable consortia to fulfill their applications in health, environment and industry.

Authors are invited to submit their original research articles and review papers (see submission guidelines) for possible inclusion in a special collection of this journal.

Potential topics should match Microbial Cell Factories requirements (see journal Aims and scope), and include but are not limited to the following:

  • Fungal and/or bacterial consortia
  • Undefined microbial consortia
  • Synthetic/artificial consortia
  • Modeling of synthetic microbial consortia
  • Genetic and metabolic engineering tools
  • Fermentation or co-culturing process
  • Genome engineering and RNA technology
  • Design of microbial consortia for industrial biotechnology
  • Environmental microbiology and biotechnology
  • Food microbiota and safety
  • Medical microbiology and treatment
  • Gut microbiota and human health
  • Probiotics and Nutrition
  • Biomass utilization
  • Waste treatment and degradation
  • Biofuel/Biodiesel/bioenergy production
  • Natural products/secondary metabolites
  • Microbial interaction, communication and signal molecules
  • Biofilms and quorum-sensing (QS)

How to submit:

Articles should be submitted to the journal using the online submission system. During submission, in the Additional Information section, you should select to submit to a thematic series and choose "Microbial co-cultures (consortia)".  Submission deadline March 31st 2021.

Guest Editors:

Mingfeng Cao,  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.
Ning He, Xiamen University, China.
Yuanpeng Wang, Xiamen University, China.

  1. Microbial co-cultures and consortia are of interest in cell-based molecular production and even as “smart” therapeutics in that one can take advantage of division of labor and specialization to expand both the...

    Authors: Kayla Chun, Kristina Stephens, Sally Wang, Chen-Yu Tsao, Gregory F. Payne and William E. Bentley

    Citation: Microbial Cell Factories 2021 20:215

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  2. Many applications of microbial synthetic biology, such as metabolic engineering and biocomputing, are increasing in design complexity. Implementing complex tasks in single populations can be a challenge becaus...

    Authors: Katherine E. Duncker, Zachary A. Holmes and Lingchong You

    Citation: Microbial Cell Factories 2021 20:211

    Content type: Review

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  3. Plants produce a variety of specialized metabolites, many of which are used in pharmaceutical industries as raw materials. However, certain metabolites may be produced at markedly low concentrations in plants....

    Authors: Miya Urui, Yasuyuki Yamada, Yoshito Ikeda, Akira Nakagawa, Fumihiko Sato, Hiromichi Minami and Nobukazu Shitan

    Citation: Microbial Cell Factories 2021 20:200

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  4. Quantification of individual species in microbial co-cultures and consortia is critical to understanding and designing communities with prescribed functions. However, it is difficult to physically separate spe...

    Authors: Patrick A. Leggieri, Corey Kerdman-Andrade, Thomas S. Lankiewicz, Megan T. Valentine and Michelle A. O’Malley

    Citation: Microbial Cell Factories 2021 20:199

    Content type: Research

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  5. Indigo is a color molecule with a long history of being used as a textile dye. The conventional production methods are facing increasing economy, sustainability and environmental challenges. Therefore, develop...

    Authors: Tingting Chen, Xiaonan Wang, Lei Zhuang, Alan Shao, Yinghua Lu and Haoran Zhang

    Citation: Microbial Cell Factories 2021 20:154

    Content type: Research

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  6. Owing to the excellent properties of photosensitization, cercosporin, one of naturally occurring perylenequinonoid pigments, has been widely used in photodynamic therapy, or as an antimicrobial agent and an or...

    Authors: Tingan Zhou, Shiyu Yu, Yifan Hu, Yan Zhang, Yuechen Song, Jieyu Chu, Changmei Liu and Yijian Rao

    Citation: Microbial Cell Factories 2021 20:100

    Content type: Research

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  7. Resveratrol is a plant secondary metabolite with diverse, potential health-promoting benefits. Due to its nutraceutical merit, bioproduction of resveratrol via microbial engineering has gained increasing atten...

    Authors: Shuo-Fu Yuan, Xiunan Yi, Trevor G. Johnston and Hal S. Alper

    Citation: Microbial Cell Factories 2020 19:143

    Content type: Research

    Published on: