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Drawing up a collaborative contract: Amino acid cross-feeding between inter-species bacterial pairs
  • Erin Kelly,
  • Alexandria Fischer,
  • Cynthia Collins
Erin Kelly
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Alexandria Fischer
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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Cynthia Collins
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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Synthetic microbial communities have the potential to enable new platforms for bioproduction of biofuels and biopharmaceuticals. However, using engineered communities is often assumed to be difficult because of anticipated challenges in establishing and controlling community composition. Cross-feeding between microbial auxotrophs has the potential to facilitate co-culture growth and stability through a mutualistic ecological interaction. We assessed cross-feeding between 13 Escherichia coli amino acid auxotrophs paired with a leucine auxotroph of Bacillus megaterium. We developed a minimal media capable of supporting the growth of both bacteria and used the media to study co-culture growth of the 13 interspecies pairs of auxotrophs in batch and continuous culture, and on semi-solid media. In batch culture, eight of thirteen pairs of auxotrophs were observed to grow in co-culture. We developed a new metric to quantify the impact of cross-feeding on co-culture growth. Six pairs also showed long-term stability in continuous culture, where co-culture growth at different dilution rates highlighted differences in cross-feeding amongst the pairs. Finally, we found that cross-feeding-dependent growth on semi-solid media is highly stringent and enables identification of the most efficient pairs. These results demonstrate that cross-feeding is a viable approach for controlling community composition within diverse synthetic communities.
11 Dec 2020Submitted to Biotechnology and Bioengineering
11 Dec 2020Submission Checks Completed
11 Dec 2020Assigned to Editor
20 Dec 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
21 Jan 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
21 Jan 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Major
10 Apr 20211st Revision Received
10 Apr 2021Submission Checks Completed
10 Apr 2021Assigned to Editor
05 May 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
05 May 2021Editorial Decision: Accept