Adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) is an evolutionary engineering approach in artificial conditions that improves organisms through the imitation of natural evolution. Due to the development of multi-level omics technologies in recent decades, ALE can be performed for various purposes at the laboratory level. This review delineates the basics of the experimental design of ALE based on several ALE studies of industrial microbial strains and updates current strategies combined with progressed metabolic engineering, in silico modeling and automation to maximize the evolution efficiency. Moreover, the review sheds light on the applicability of ALE as a strain development approach that complies with non-recombinant preferences in various food industries. Overall, recent progress in the utilization of ALE for strain development leading to successful industrialization is discussed.
Keywords: Industrial strain development; adaptive laboratory evolution; systems metabolic engineering.