Journal article Open Access

Tools for engineering coordinated system behaviour in synthetic microbial consortia

Kylilis, Nicolas; Tuza, Zoltan A.; Stan, Guy-Bart; Polizzi, Karen M.


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    <subfield code="u">1. Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, London, SW7 2AZ, UK; 2. Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology (IC-CSynB), Imperial College London, London, SW7 2AZ, UK</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">Stan, Guy-Bart</subfield>
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    <subfield code="u">1. Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology (IC-CSynB), Imperial College London, London, SW7 2AZ, UK; 2. Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, London, SW7 2AZ, UK</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">Polizzi, Karen M.</subfield>
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    <subfield code="p">Nature Communications</subfield>
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    <subfield code="u">1. Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, London, SW7 2AZ, UK; 2. Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology (IC-CSynB), Imperial College London, London, SW7 2AZ, UK</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">Kylilis, Nicolas</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">Tools for engineering coordinated system behaviour in synthetic microbial consortia</subfield>
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  <datafield tag="536" ind1=" " ind2=" ">
    <subfield code="c">766840</subfield>
    <subfield code="a">Control Engineering of Biological Systems for Reliable Synthetic Biology Applications</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Abstract&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;Advancing synthetic biology to the multicellular level requires the development of multiple cell-to-cell communication channels that propagate information with minimal signal interference. The development of quorum-sensing devices, the cornerstone technology for building microbial communities with coordinated system behaviour, has largely focused on cognate acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL)/transcription factor pairs, while the use of non-cognate pairs as a design feature has received limited attention. Here, we demonstrate a large library of AHL-receiver devices, with all cognate and non-cognate chemical signal interactions quantified, and we develop a software tool that automatically selects orthogonal communication channels. We use this approach to identify up to four orthogonal channels in silico, and experimentally demonstrate the simultaneous use of three channels in co-culture. The development of multiple non-interfering cell-to-cell communication channels is an enabling step that facilitates the design of synthetic consortia for applications including distributed bio-computation, increased bioprocess efficiency, cell specialisation and spatial organisation.&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">10.1038/s41467-018-05046-2</subfield>
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