Team:British Columbia

From 2012.igem.org

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<p align=center><font face=arial narrow size=4><b>Synthetic Syntrophy</b></font></p><font face=arial narrow>
<p align=center><font face=arial narrow size=4><b>Synthetic Syntrophy</b></font></p><font face=arial narrow>
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The field of synthetic biology has seen the development of many biological monocultures capable of performing a wide range of novel functions. In contrast to this current paradigm, microbes have naturally evolved to survive as members of dynamic communities with distributed metabolism. This “divide and conquer” strategy allows the community to perform more complicated metabolic processing than would be possible in single microorganisms while being resilient to environmental changes. Despite very recent proof of concepts in developing model microbial consortia, or synthetic ecology, questions remain as to whether complex metabolic pathways can be engineered in context of microbial populations. The 2012 University of British Columbia iGEM team sets a precedent by engineering a tunable consortium with a distributed 4S desulfurization pathway for increased efficiency in the removal of organosulfurs in heavy oils and bitumen resources.</br></br></br>
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The field of synthetic biology has seen the development of many biological monocultures capable of performing a wide range of novel functions. In contrast to this current paradigm, microbes have naturally evolved to survive as members of dynamic communities with distributed metabolism. This “divide and conquer” strategy allows the community to perform more complicated metabolic processing than would be possible in single microorganisms while being resilient to environmental changes. Despite very recent proof of concepts in developing model microbial consortia, or synthetic ecology, questions remain as to whether complex metabolic pathways can be engineered in context of microbial populations. The 2012 University of British Columbia iGEM team sets a precedent by engineering a tunable consortium with a distributed 4S desulfurization pathway for increased efficiency in the removal of organosulfurs in heavy oils and bitumen resources.</br></br>
<p align=center><font face=arial narrow size=4><b>Foundational Advance: Engineering Microbial Consortia</b></font></p><font face=arial narrow>
<p align=center><font face=arial narrow size=4><b>Foundational Advance: Engineering Microbial Consortia</b></font></p><font face=arial narrow>
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<div id=caption></br></br>Synthetic biologists have created systems for bio-sensing, bio-degradation, bio-transformation and bio-synthesis.</div>
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<div id=caption><b></br></br>Synthetic biologists have created systems for bio-sensing, bio-degradation, bio-transformation and bio-synthesis.</div>
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<div id=caption></br>In nature, microbes normally exist within communities (consortia), where metabolic pathways are distributed across different species.</div><div id=break2></div>
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<div id=caption></br>We hypothesize that distributing metabolic pathways in the field of synthetic biology may proffer separate advantages compared to engineering a single microbe containing an entire independent metabolism. For instance, distributing pathways can (i) reduce the metabolic burden on any one microbe and (ii) increase compartmentalization so that there is reduced cross-talk regulation/feedback inhibition and each reaction is sequestered within a more conducive cellular environment.
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Revision as of 17:34, 29 September 2012

British Columbia - 2012.igem.org


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UBC iGEM 2012 notebook

Synthetic Syntrophy

The field of synthetic biology has seen the development of many biological monocultures capable of performing a wide range of novel functions. In contrast to this current paradigm, microbes have naturally evolved to survive as members of dynamic communities with distributed metabolism. This “divide and conquer” strategy allows the community to perform more complicated metabolic processing than would be possible in single microorganisms while being resilient to environmental changes. Despite very recent proof of concepts in developing model microbial consortia, or synthetic ecology, questions remain as to whether complex metabolic pathways can be engineered in context of microbial populations. The 2012 University of British Columbia iGEM team sets a precedent by engineering a tunable consortium with a distributed 4S desulfurization pathway for increased efficiency in the removal of organosulfurs in heavy oils and bitumen resources.

Foundational Advance: Engineering Microbial Consortia



Synthetic biologists have created systems for bio-sensing, bio-degradation, bio-transformation and bio-synthesis.


In nature, microbes normally exist within communities (consortia), where metabolic pathways are distributed across different species.


We hypothesize that distributing metabolic pathways in the field of synthetic biology may proffer separate advantages compared to engineering a single microbe containing an entire independent metabolism. For instance, distributing pathways can (i) reduce the metabolic burden on any one microbe and (ii) increase compartmentalization so that there is reduced cross-talk regulation/feedback inhibition and each reaction is sequestered within a more conducive cellular environment.