Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published January 2009 | Published
Journal Article Open

Synthetic control of a fitness tradeoff in yeast nitrogen metabolism


Background: Microbial communities are involved in many processes relevant to industrial and medical biotechnology, such as the formation of biofilms, lignocellulosic degradation, and hydrogen production. The manipulation of synthetic and natural microbial communities and their underlying ecological parameters, such as fitness, evolvability, and variation, is an increasingly important area of research for synthetic biology. Results: Here, we explored how synthetic control of an endogenous circuit can be used to regulate a tradeoff between fitness in resource abundant and resource limited environments in a population of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We found that noise in the expression of a key enzyme in ammonia assimilation, Gdh1p, mediated a tradeoff between growth in low nitrogen environments and stress resistance in high ammonia environments. We implemented synthetic control of an endogenous Gdh1p regulatory network to construct an engineered strain in which the fitness of the population was tunable in response to an exogenously-added small molecule across a range of ammonia environments. Conclusion: The ability to tune fitness and biological tradeoffs will be important components of future efforts to engineer microbial communities.

Additional Information

© 2009 Bayer et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Received: 18 September 2008 Accepted: 2 January 2009. Published: 2 January 2009. We thank D. Endy, M. Elowitz, J. Silberg, and J. Tabor for critical reading and comments on this manuscript. This work was supported by the Caltech Grubstake Program (grant to CDS), the National Institutes of Health (grant to CDS; training grant TSB; fellowship to KGH), and the Department of Defense (fellowship to CLB).

Attached Files

Published - Bayer2009p84110.11861754-1611-3-1.pdf


Files (436.5 kB)
Name Size Download all
436.5 kB Preview Download

Additional details

August 20, 2023
October 18, 2023