Relevance of microbial coculture fermentations in biotechnology


Johannes Bader, Technische Universität Berlin, Fachgebiet Mikrobiologie and Genetik, Seestraβe 13, 13353 Berlin, Germany. E-mail:


The purpose of this article is to review coculture fermentations in industrial biotechnology. Examples for the advantageous utilization of cocultures instead of single cultivations include the production of bulk chemicals, enzymes, food additives, antimicrobial substances and microbial fuel cells. Coculture fermentations may result in increased yield, improved control of product qualities and the possibility of utilizing cheaper substrates. Cocultivation of different micro-organisms may also help to identify and develop new biotechnological substances. The relevance of coculture fermentations and the potential of improving existing processes as well as the production of new chemical compounds in industrial biotechnology are pointed out here by means of more than 35 examples.