Microbial cultivation based on Meta-omics Assisted, Targeted soRting and Isolation in a customized matriX
Microorganisms are the oldest, most abundant and most diverse life forms on earth. Especially for the discovery of new natural compounds, the degradation of pollutants and the production of environmentally friendly energy these microorganisms have a great potential. Despite their great importance, microorganisms are still completely under-researched and under-utilized today. It is estimated that 99 percent of all microbial species could not be cultivated until now because they are part of multispecies consortia. In order to build these consortia, the matrix as well as gradients of nutrients, messengers and co-factors are of importance.
The aim of the MicroMATRIX project is to technically imitate these factors. In this way, hitherto uncultivable, biotechnologically promising microorganisms are to be propagated in the laboratory, characterised and made technologically usable in the long term. The team brings together expertise from research and industry in the fields of bioinformatics, micro- and molecular biology, engineering sciences and chemistry and will develop the necessary technologies and procedures over the next three years in order to create a cultivation pipeline.
The targeted, reliable cultivation of previously uncultivated organisms will support the development of our society towards a sustainable bioeconomy, enable novel biobased materials and pave the way to new therapeutics in health research.
Proposed pipeline for isolation and cultivation of previously unculturable microorganisms. (1) An environmental sample is analyzed using meta-omics analysis. (2) After sequencing and bioinformatics analysis (3), genes are identified to serve as targets for isolation. (4) Specific probes are then developed, (5) allowing fluorescence-based cell sorting. (6) The cells thus isolated are then cultured in a special incubation chamber. (7) Here, the cells can be supplied with medium based on the environmental sample. Based on the genome analyses, the cultivation conditions for the target organisms can be optimized (8).
This project is being sponsored by the BMBF as: Verbundprojekt MicroMatrix – Entwicklung einer Pipeline zur Kultivierung und Analyse bisher nicht kultivierbarer Mikroorganismen mit biotechnologischer Relevanz aus komplexen Umweltproben, 161L0284A