A method for selecting groups of organisms to perform a predetermined function is disclosed. The method includes using the relative fitness of initial candidate groups of organisms for performing the function to select new groups of organisms that perform the function with greater efficiency than the initial candidate groups. In a working embodiment, a genetic algorithm and fitness testing of groups of organisms selected by the genetic algorithm are used to provide groups of organisms that can efficiently perform the predetermined function.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
 This invention was made in part with support by the United States Army Research Laboratory under contract DAAD 19-00-1-0078, and in part pursuant to a fellowship from the Inland Northwest Research Alliance (INRA) Subsurface Science Research Institute which is funded by the Department of Energy under contract DE-FG07-02ID14277; the United States government has certain rights in the invention.