Quantitative analysis of the spatiotemporal dynamics of a synthetic predator-prey ecosystem.
A major focus in synthetic biology is the rational design and implementation of gene circuits to control dynamics of individual cells and, increasingly, cellular populations. Population-level control is highlighted in recent studies which attempt to design and implement synthetic ecosystems (or engineered microbial consortia). On the one hand, these engineered systems may serve as a critical technological foundation for practical applications. On the other hand, they may serve as well-defined model systems to examine biological questions of broad relevance. Here, using a synthetic predator-prey ecosystem as an example, we illustrate the basic experimental techniques involved in system implementation and characterization. By extension, these techniques are applicable to the analysis of other microbial-based synthetic or natural ecosystems.
Payne, S; Smith, RP; You, L
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