Compositional and temporal division of labor modulates mixed sugar fermentation by an engineered yeast consortium

Jonghyeok Shin, Siqi Liao, Nurzhan Kuanyshev, Yongping Xin, Chanwoo Kim, Ting Lu, Yong Su Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Synthetic microbial communities have emerged as an attractive route for chemical bioprocessing. They are argued to be superior to single strains through microbial division of labor (DOL), but the exact mechanism by which DOL confers advantages remains unclear. Here, we utilize a synthetic Saccharomyces cerevisiae consortium along with mathematical modeling to achieve tunable mixed sugar fermentation to overcome the limitations of single-strain fermentation. The consortium involves two strains with each specializing in glucose or xylose utilization for ethanol production. By controlling initial community composition, DOL allows fine tuning of fermentation dynamics and product generation. By altering inoculation delay, DOL provides additional programmability to parallelly regulate fermentation characteristics and product yield. Mathematical models capture observed experimental findings and further offer guidance for subsequent fermentation optimization. This study demonstrates the functional potential of DOL in bioprocessing and provides insight into the rational design of engineered ecosystems for various applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number781
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 26 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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