Microbial Syntrophy aims to understand the physiology and metabolic flexibility of microbial communities in relation to their environment.
Syntrophic communities of bacteria and archaea are key players in methane formation during anaerobic digestion of waste. Growth of syntrophic communities is controlled by the thermodynamics of the reactions they perform, and the microorganisms depend on each other’s presence and activity through interspecies electron transfer. Many syntrophs establish two different life styles; an acetogenic/hydrogenogenic metabolism and a sulfidogenic metabolism. The challenge is to develop and implement single-cell methods for the detailed study of mechanisms underlying syntrophic interactions. Besides, syntrophic communities and microbial networks will be used as biocatalysts to obtain added-value products from renewable sources.