A bacterial synthetic oscillator for intra and inter-kingdom synchronization.

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Alex Armando Quintero Yanes, Catalina Arévalo Ferro

Communities and Bacterial Communication Lab (Arevalo-Ferro Lab)/ Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia

In a relatively short time, synthetic biology has transitioned from construction of circuits that control isolated cellular functions to designing modules for population synchronization to be used in bio-technological applications. Nevertheless, there are very few initiatives working on circuits that can function at the level of microbial communities involving inter-species and inter-kingdom communication. The present work leads to the design of synthetic oscillating circuits in order to control the production of the 3oxo-C12 homoserine lactone, which is part of the Pseudomona aeruginosa quorum sensing system and is an important modulator of virulence factors in Burkholderia cepacia and of dimorphism in Candida albicans, to mention some examples. We have constructed circuits with standardized “Biobrick” parts that allow the spatial-temporal production and degradation of the mentioned signaling molecule. Additionally, our design seeks to create a system that does not depend on the exogenous flux of inductors, in order to be self-sustainable in vitro, and that it might be tunable through the assembly of other oscillating circuits such as “the repressilator”. Our design aims to be a module that allows the control of C. albicans filamentous growth without the virulence factor induction in bacteria.