Bacterial stress-identification and reporting

by Wendy Smith

16:00 (40 min) in USB 3.032

Hosting synthetic genetic circuits imposes a load on a bacterial chassis. This load is manifest in the form of a number of stress responses and can result in detrimental effects on the growth of the host, and the function of the introduced system. This is particularly the case for production of heterologous proteins and metabolites which utilise a large amount of the cell's available resources. For industrially applied bacterial chassis, it is desirable to be able to monitor the stress and load state of the cell allowing the circuit designer to incorporate features into their design to respond to these stresses if desired.

In this project we are building reporter systems for cellular stress, including metabolic load, into the chassis by: (1) defining the signatures (fingerprints) of gene expression, and unique gene expression biomarkers, that are indicative of important stresses such as metabolic load, and (2) developing genetic reporter systems for a variety of stresses to allow compensatory circuits to be implemented for in the host strains.