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Automation of rational strain engineering – new Manuscript in ACS Synthetic Biology

Innovative bioeconomy products and processes need tailored microorganisms. Construction of such microorganisms using genetic engineering is usually labor-intensive, manual lab-work. To change this, two groups of IBG-1, “Quantitative Microbial Phenotyping” and “Bacterial Networks and Interactions” collaborated and developed an automated workflow for microbial strain construction.

This novel technological approach not only allows for rational engineering of Escherichia coli, an organism often used for genetic engineering, but also for transfer of genetic information into industrially relevant producer strains, such as Cornyebacterium glutamicum. Performance of this workflow was demonstrated by construction of a strain library with different variants of a transcriptional biosensor.

The new study shows the potential of automation to speed up microbial strain construction and quickly create new areas of application. Technologies such as these are developed in the project “AutoBioTech”, part of the BioökonomieREVIER.


Niklas Tenhaef, Robert Stella, Julia Frunzke, and Stephan Noack: Automated Rational Strain Construction Based on High-Throughput Conjugation. ACS Synthetic Biology, 2021,

Graphic Automated strain construction