Designer microbial communities for fermented milk products: A System Biology Approach

Summary
Microbial communities are ubiquitously found in nature, from soil to the human gut, and have direct implications for the environment, human health and biotechnology. Our understanding of the structure and function of these communities, however, has remained poor due to the lack of tools for discovering inter-species interactions. To address this gap, the SysMilk project will develop new experimental and computational technologies for microbial community analysis. The new technologies will be developed and tested by using kefir, a natural fermented milk drink, as a model system. The SysMilk consortium includes four top academic research institutes, a small-scale company and a large industry that is leading the sector of fermented milk products. This multi-disciplinary constellation will enable efficient transfer of the SysMilk technology to the dairy products industry, facilitating the design of customized yogurt starter cultures.

Project group
Kiran Raosaheb Patil, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany
Uwe Sauer, Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Ivica Letunic, Biobyte solutions GmbH, Heidelberg, Germany
Bas Teusink, VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands
André Kelkkanen, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
Rute Neves, Chr-Hansen A/S, Denmark
Jens Nielsen, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden