20.7 C
Sunday, May 28, 2023
HomeScienceCross-cultural exchange through engineered cyanobacteria

Cross-cultural exchange through engineered cyanobacteria


graphic abstract. credit: ACS Synthetic Biology (2022). DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.2c00527

Cyanobacteria, photosynthetic microorganisms with wide-ranging uses in the production of dyes, antioxidants and potential nutritional supplements in biofuels and plastics, have a new way of communicating to control their numbers, according to researchers from the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, or PRL, Ducat lab show. .

In nature, bacteria “talk” to each other using proteins and a small molecule. In this two-part system, one “talks” by making a small molecule come out into the environment and the other picks up that molecule and “listens.”

Researchers at PRL Ducat’s laboratory engineered these mechanisms in cyanobacteria. This research has been published in ACS Synthetic Biology.

said Manos Kokarakis, co-first author of the study and a graduate student in Dukat’s lab and Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.

In nature, these two species would not share a common language. This work shows that conversations between two species are possible and that multiple ways of speaking and listening can change the outcome of a conversation.

Engineering them to communicate in this way will help researchers grow cyanobacteria on larger scales.

“In order to bring back the strength of natural communities (cyanobacteria), we’re going to need some of the same strategies that they use,” said Danny Ducat, associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. “This is one step toward that, with the ultimate goal of creating a robust, stable community that expands the bioproduction potential of cyanobacteria rather than just the laboratory.”

Rhys Rellema, co-first author of the study, added, “What’s really cool about this mechanism is that the signal is completely passive and propagates through the environment. It doesn’t require any active transmissions, so it’s very cheap for cells to do.” Rellema is a graduate student in the lab. Dukat, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Graduate Program in Molecular Plant Sciences.

Cyanobacteria research is a new area of ​​study, and as such, toolkits for working with these microorganisms are limited. Engineering this communication system in cyanobacteria greatly expands the tools researchers can use in working with these microorganisms.

“The next step is to have autocatalytic systems in cyanobacteria using this mechanism,” Kokarakis continued, meaning that researchers wouldn’t have to initiate communication, but the cyanobacteria would do it on their own. “Ideally we would be able to activate genes in cyanobacteria with a mass density.”

“An added benefit is that (cyanobacteria) are carbon dioxide fixers,” which means they take in carbon dioxide.2 from the atmosphere, like plants. “If you’re making a carbon-based substrate, all that carbon is sucked out of the atmosphere and fixed in a product that you then sell, so that’s a nice carbon neutral, pushing toward a carbon-negative option.”

more information:
Emmanuel J. Kokarakis et al., Development of cyanobacterial quorum-sensing kits: Towards interspecies coordination in mixed autotrophic/heterotrophic communities, ACS Synthetic Biology (2022). DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.2c00527

Provided by Michigan State University

the quote: Engineered Cyanobacteria for Cross Cultural Exchange (2023, April 14) Retrieved April 14, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-04-cyanobacteria-cross-cultural-exchange.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.

The author of what'snew2day.com is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest news and information.

Latest stories