Engineering microbial systems to explore ecological and evolutionary dynamics.


Journal Article (Review)

A major goal of biological research is to provide a mechanistic understanding of diverse biological processes. To this end, synthetic biology offers a powerful approach, whereby biological questions can be addressed in a well-defined framework. By constructing simple gene circuits, such studies have generated new insights into the design principles of gene regulatory networks. Recently, this strategy has been applied to analyze ecological and evolutionary questions, where population-level interactions are critical. Here, we highlight recent development of such systems and discuss how they were used to address problems in ecology and evolutionary biology. As illustrated by these examples, synthetic ecosystems provide a unique platform to study ecological and evolutionary phenomena that are challenging to study in their natural contexts.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tanouchi, Y; Smith, RP; You, L

Published Date

  • October 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 791 - 797

PubMed ID

  • 22310174

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22310174

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-0429

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0958-1669

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.copbio.2012.01.006


  • eng