Genetic algorithm as an optimization tool for the development of sponge cell culture media

Stephanie Munroe*, Kenneth Sandoval, Dirk E. Martens, Detmer Sipkema, Shirley A. Pomponi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Sponges are rich sources of novel natural products. Production in cell cultures may be an option for supply of these compounds but there are currently no sponge cell lines. Because there is a lack of understanding about the precise conditions and nutritional requirements that are necessary to sustain sponge cells in vitro, there has yet to be a defined, sponge-specific nutrient medium. This study utilized a genetic algorithm approach to optimize the amino acid composition of a commercially available basal cell culture medium in order to increase the metabolic activity of cells of the marine sponge Dysidea etheria. Four generations of the algorithm were carried out in vitro in wet lab conditions and an optimal medium combination was selected for further evaluation. When compared to the basal medium control, there was a twofold increase in metabolic activity. The genetic algorithm approach can be used to optimize other components of culture media to efficiently optimize chosen parameters without the need for detailed knowledge on all possible interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-158
JournalIn Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal
Issue number3
Early online date11 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Cell culture
  • Dysidea etheria
  • Genetic algorithm
  • Medium optimization
  • Metabolic activity
  • Sponge


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    Project: EU research project

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