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Biotechnology Advances
Volume 40, 2020, 107500

Biotechnological potential and applications of microbial consortia

Xiujuan Qiana, Lin Chena, Yuan Suib, Chong Chenb, Wenming Zhanga,c, Jie Zhoua,c, Weiliang Donga,c, Min Jianga,c, Fengxue Xina,c, Katrin Ochsenreitherd

State Key Laboratory of Materials-Oriented Chemical Engineering, College of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Engineering, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing, China.


Recent advances in microbial consortia present a valuable approach for expanding the scope of metabolic engineering. Systems biology enable thorough understanding of diverse physiological processes of cells and their interactions, which in turn offers insights into the optimal design of synthetic microbial consortia. Yet, the study of synthetic microbial consortia is still in early infancy, facing many unknowns and challenges in intercellular communication and construction of stable and controllable microbial consortia systems. In this review, we comprehensively discussed the recent application of defined microbial consortia in the fields of human health monitoring and medicine exploitation, valuable compounds synthesis, consolidated bioprocessing of lignocellulosic materials and environmental bioremediation. Moreover, the outstanding challenges and future directions to advance the development of high-efficient, stable and controllable synthetic microbial consortia were highlighted.

Keywords: Microbial consortia application, Human health supervision, Valuable compounds synthesis, Consolidated bioprocessing, Environment bio-remediation, Microbial consortia construction challenges.

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