Adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) is a technique for the selection of strains with better phenotypes by long-term culture under a specific selection pressure or growth environment. Because ALE does not require detailed knowledge of a variety of complex and interactive metabolic networks, and only needs to simulate natural environmental conditions in the laboratory to design a selection pressure, it has the advantages of broad adaptability, strong practicability, and more convenient transformation of strains. In addition, ALE provides a powerful method for studying the evolutionary forces that change the phenotype, performance, and stability of strains, resulting in more productive industrial strains with beneficial mutations. In recent years, ALE has been widely used in the activation of specific microbial metabolic pathways and phenotypic optimization, the efficient utilization of specific substrates, the optimization of tolerance to toxic substance, and the biosynthesis of target products, which is more conducive to the production of industrial strains with excellent phenotypic characteristics. In this paper, typical examples of ALE applications in the development of industrial strains and the research progress of this technology are reviewed, followed by a discussion of its development prospects.
Keywords: Adaptive laboratory evolution; Industrial strain breeding; Mutant library construction; Reverse metabolic engineering.
© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology.