Our research featured in Quanta Magazine

Microbiologists are searching for a universal theory of how bacteria form communities based not on their species but on the roles they play.

A new article in the popular science magazine Quanta has highlighted our work on metabolic preferences and their genomic markers. How can we identify rules of microbial communities? What are the traits that determine success in a community? What level of abstraction is useful when thinking about the many species of bacteria living in a given community? How can we design microbial consortia? These are some of the questions that the research (including our own) described in this article is trying to unravel. Exciting times for microbial ecology!

Read the article here: https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-quest-for-simple-rules-to-build-a-microbial-community-20240117/

Herwig to lead €5M NWO Perspective Grant Consortium for plant-based fermentations

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) granted the FERMI Perspective proposal led by Herwig Bachmann from the Systems Biology Lab. The project aims to accelerate the protein transition by improving the taste of plant-based products through fermentation by microbes. With colleagues from the Wageningen University and TU Delft and 10 industrial partners, the project will combine experimental and computational methods to unravel the biochemistry of the underlying conversions: which chemistry, enzymes and pathways turn beany and grassy flavours into meaty or neutral ones? This knowledge should accelerate a shift towards a more plant-based diet and will contribute to a more sustainable food production chain.

For more info, see the infographic below (click to enlarge).

Overview over the FERMI project