Artificial microbial consortia for bioproduction processes

Eng Life Sci. 2022 Apr 14;23(1):e2100152. doi: 10.1002/elsc.202100152. eCollection 2023 Jan.


The application of artificial microbial consortia for biotechnological production processes is an emerging field in research as it offers great potential for the improvement of established as well as the development of novel processes. In this review, we summarize recent highlights in the usage of various microbial consortia for the production of, for example, platform chemicals, biofuels, or pharmaceutical compounds. It aims to demonstrate the great potential of co-cultures by employing different organisms and interaction mechanisms and exploiting their respective advantages. Bacteria and yeasts often offer a broad spectrum of possible products, fungi enable the utilization of complex lignocellulosic substrates via enzyme secretion and hydrolysis, and microalgae can feature their abilities to fixate CO2 through photosynthesis for other organisms as well as to form lipids as potential fuelstocks. However, the complexity of interactions between microbes require methods for observing population dynamics within the process and modern approaches such as modeling or automation for process development. After shortly discussing these interaction mechanisms, we aim to present a broad variety of successfully established co-culture processes to display the potential of artificial microbial consortia for the production of biotechnological products.

Keywords: artificial consortia; bioproduction processes; cell‐to‐cell interactions; co‐cultivation.

Publication types

  • Review