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Long-distance communication in synthetic bacterial consortia through active signal propagation

Parkin, James M. and Murray, Richard M. (2018) Long-distance communication in synthetic bacterial consortia through active signal propagation. . (Unpublished)

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A synthetic cell-cell signaling circuit should ideally be (1) metabolically lightweight, (2) insulated from endogenous gene networks, and (3) excitable rather than oscillatory or bistable. To accomplish these three features, we propose a synchronized pulse-generating circuit based on the design of published synchronized oscillators. This communication module employs a pulse generator built using Lux-type quorum sensing components and an IFFL transcriptional circuit. Both the input and output of this module are AHLs, the quorum sensing signaling molecule. Cells bearing this module therefore act as an excitable medium, producing a pulse of AHL when stimulated by exogenous AHL. Using simulation and microscopy, we demonstrate how this circuit enables traveling pulses of AHL production through microcolonies growing in two dimensions. Traveling pulses achieve cell-cell communication at longer distances than can be achieved by diffusion of signal from sender to receiver cells and may permit more sophisticated coordination in synthetic consortia.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Parkin, James M.0000-0002-4058-2338
Murray, Richard M.0000-0002-5785-7481
Additional Information:The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted bioRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. It is made available under a CC-BY-ND 4.0 International license. bioRxiv preprint first posted online May. 14, 2018. James M. Parkin is supported by the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies through grant W911NF-09-0001 from the U.S. Army Research Office. The content of the information does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Government, and no official endorsement should be inferred. Plasmid vectors and non-coding regions were provided as a generous gift of Douglas Densmore at the Cross-disciplinary Integration of Design Automation Research lab (Addgene Kit # 1000000059 ). Quorum sensing promoters, quorum sensing protein coding sequences, and strain CY026 were provided as a generous gift from Matthew Bennet (Addgene Plasmid #65954, #65952, Bacterial Strain #72340).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Army Research Office (ARO)W911NF-09-0001
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181030-140537131
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Official Citation:Long-distance communication in synthetic bacterial consortia through active signal propagation. James M Parkin, Richard M Murray. bioRxiv 321307; doi:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:90519
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Oct 2018 22:40
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 03:33

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