Dealing with complexity: evolutionary engineering and genome shuffling

Current Opinion in Biotechnology
Ralf Petri, Claudia Schmidt-Dannert

Abstract

Comparative analysis of the growing number of microbial genome sequences has shown a high plasticity of genomes and several mechanisms for the adaptation of microbial cells to changing environmental conditions have been discovered. By contrast, the underlying metabolic networks of microorganisms are under strict control and relatively rigid, which poses a significant challenge for rational metabolic engineering approaches. Recursive shuffling of whole genomes has recently been demonstrated as an effective new evolutionary whole-cell engineering approach for the rapid improvement of industrially important microbial phenotypes.

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