Evolutionary implications of host genetic control for engineering beneficial microbiomes

Lucas P. Henry, Joy Bergelson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Engineering new functions in the microbiome requires understanding how host genetic control and microbe–microbe interactions shape the microbiome. One key genetic mechanism underlying host control is the immune system. The immune system can promote stability in the composition of the microbiome by reshaping the ecological dynamics of its members, but the degree of stability will depend on the interplay between ecological context, immune system development, and higher-order microbe–microbe interactions. The eco-evolutionary interplay affecting composition and stability should inform the strategies used to engineer new functions in the microbiome. We conclude with recent methodological developments that provide an important path forward for both engineering new functionality in the microbiome and broadly understanding how ecological interactions shape evolutionary processes in complex biological systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100455
JournalCurrent Opinion in Systems Biology
StatePublished - Jun 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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