Redesign of the bacteriophage P4, extending its infection-range

View all posters

Enrique Paz Cortes, Dvila G, Romero D, Martinez Garca JC

Center for Genomics Sciences, Mexico

Bacteriophage P4 is a peculiar organism that presents an unusual wide infection-range that includes E.coli, different pathogens among enterobacteriacea, P.putida and S.meliloti. Our curiosity focuses on the elements that allow this phage to infect different species and how to increase or control that ability. For this project we propose to apply Synthetic Biology principles to generate resources that make easier the study of this phage, its control, construction of redesigned versions, and their biotechnological application. Initially, we built a database with all the information available about P4 and its genetic elements. Using this, we selected useful elements to standardize them and assembly engineered versions of P4 (eP4) entirely from biobricks. We pretend to develop a collection of eP4 variants to study the elements involved on giving P4 a wide infection-range, and also to explore strategies to enhance or limit this characteristic. Furthermore have designed an E.coli strain adapted as an in vivo system specialized on eP4 production. We encourage these resources as a platform to study distinct aspect of P4 and its elements with a different perspective, by building them. Similarly this platform will be useful to design, construct and produce standardized versions of P4 that can include different Synthetic Genetic Systems based on biobricks (SGS). Another application of eP4 phages is like a DNA vehicle to easily mobilize SGS from E.coli into a bigger group of bacteria species than the natural infection-range of P4-WT. Since that group includes species of medical and biotechnological relevance, we expect this project to be useful also in the renascent area of phage therapy, by providing a standardized phage with an adjustable increased infection-range and adaptable to carry SGS from just 3-kbs to up to 30-kbs.