Synthetic interspecies communication between escherichia coli and bacillus megaterium

Jiménez Díaz, Manuel Rafael
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Collins, Cynthia H.
Hahn, Juergen
Koffas, Mattheos A. G.
Barquera, Blanca L.
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Chemical engineering
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We demonstrate the development of a one way synthetic communication system between an AHL B. megaterium producer and an AHL Escherichia coli receiver. This is the first time that a Gram positive microorganism is shown to produce AHL and synthetically induce gene expression from a Gram negative microorganism. To complement this one way communication, an orthogonal quorum-sensing (QS) system was implemented to send signals back from E. coli to B. megaterium. The agr QS system which utilizes auto inducing peptides (AIP) was modified and combined with the AHL signaling pathway to enable two way communication between B. megaterium and E. coli. While troubleshooting the integration of these systems in B. megaterium, we were able to generate new expression platforms in B. megaterium. We were able to design and select a two way communicating B. megaterium as well as a two way communicating E. coli. These bacteria will serve as a model for future synthetic microbial consortia as they have the potential to be expanded into related microbes as well as to be used as anchoring hubs for expanded microbial consortia.
August 2015
School of Engineering
Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
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