Emerging Horizons for Industrial Applications of Predatory Bacteria

  • C. Herencias
  • S. Salgado-Briegas
  • M. A. PrietoEmail author


This chapter reviews the potential of the predatory bacteria Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, an obligate predator of other gram-negative bacteria, as a biotechnological tool. Due to the unique lifestyle and the different applications, predatory bacteria have awakened interest to be developed as a lytic tool. The lack of physiological and metabolic information makes difficult this development. However, in the last years, different approaches have been described in order to understand the physiology, morphology, and metabolism of the predators, as well as the population dynamics of the prey-predator interactions. Besides its potential of “living antibiotic”, predatory bacteria have been proposed as a biocontrol agent in the food industry or aquaculture. A recent work using B. bacteriovorus as a biological lytic tool for the recovery of intracellular bioproducts highlighted the potential use of predators in industrial bioprocesses. The bottlenecks of using other Bdellovibrio and like organisms (BALOs) have been also considered and discussed during this chapter.



This work was supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, grant agreement no. 760994-2 (ENGICOIN), the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (BIO2017-83448-R) and the Community of Madrid (P2018/NMT4389). Sergio Salgado is a recipient of a predoctoral FPU grant (FPU17/03978) from the Spanish Ministry of Universities.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Herencias
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. Salgado-Briegas
    • 1
  • M. A. Prieto
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Microbial and Plant Biotechnology DepartmentBiological Research Center, CSICMadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology, Hospital Universitario Ramón y CajalInstituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria (IRYCIS)MadridSpain

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