Syndustry logo


Syndustry combines many approaches towards and resulting from artificial endosymbiosis. Dependencies, production line. See for yourself.



Artificial Endosymbiosis. Sounds like science fiction, but we showed that it is closer to reality than you think.

Human Practices

Human Practices

Not all that glitters is gold. Find a detailed description of what we achieved.



Raising awareness for Synthetic Biology in the public is important. Sooner or later it will be part of our everyday life. Educate. Inform. Discuss.

The Vision

Globalization radically changed the world we live in; the way we communicate and travel has become much easier. On the downside, our need for resources has dramatically increased causing ecological and social problems like land-grabbing. Humankind already is consuming so many resources and producing waste that approximately 1.6 earths are needed to cover all its needs [1]. We have to rethink our current production methods, especially concerning energy development. With our project "Syndustry" we focus on implementing a new production platform for bioproducts, especially biofuels and high value chemicals, to give rise to a realistic alternative to fossil fuels and biofuel production. Traditional biofuels do have one major issue: the use of arable land, especially in undeveloped countries, for the growth of plants for the production of biofuels [2]. Millions of people are not able to feed themselves and their families because of the need of the developed countries for fuels [3]. By minimizing the need of arable land for biofuel production with our system, we are able to change this.

In "Syndustry – fuse. produce. use.", we follow nature’s own design principles by combining the strengths of individual microorganisms for the production of valuable biochemicals. By implementing and splitting a biosynthesis pathway into two organisms, the heavy load of metabolic burden is shared, resulting in higher production yields and growth rates. We introduce a novel ‘plug-and-play’ production platform based on artificial endosymbiosis. This means taking co-culture a step further by eliminating transport steps and the accumulation of intermediates in the media. For our proof of concept, we chose two of the best known model organisms in molecular biology, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli. S. cerevisiae, the host, produces a metabolite which E.coli, the endosymbiont, is able to metabolize further into the desired product. By switching endosymbionts, equipped with different biosynthesis pathways, different endproducts can be achieved. This makes a versatile and modular system, which can be applied to numerous production pathways. However, every microorganism needs a carbon source for growth, mainly sugars such as glucose or sucrose, which derive from sugar cane or sugar beet. These plants also require arable land, meaning land grabbing cannot be solved completely by our system. We plan on adding another organism to our system – a cyanobacterium. Cyanobacteria are photosynthetically active, meaning they’re able to produce sugars from CO2, water and sunlight. By modifying this organism to export sugars and by backpacking yeast with the cyanobacteria, linking them to the surface of the host, we can make sure that the sugar needed for the growth of our production platform is provided.

Since our project mainly addresses the industry, we wanted to make sure our system could actually be implemented in great-scale production and how it could affect economy, ecology and society. Therefore we investigated all aspects in detail in our human practices part together with the help of the Rathenau Institute and Synenergene.


  1. [1] Network, Global Footprint. "Ecological footprint atlas 2010." Retrieved May 25 (2010): 2014.
  2. [2] Naik, S. N, et al. "Production of first and second generation biofuels: a comprehensive review." Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 14.2 (2010): 578-597.
  3. [3] Geary, Kate. "Our Land, Our Lives: Time out on the global land rush." Oxfam Policy and Practice: Private Sector 9.2 (2012): 1-26.


Loading ...