Engineered cell-to-cell signalling within growing bacterial cellulose pellicles

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Title: Engineered cell-to-cell signalling within growing bacterial cellulose pellicles
Authors: Walker, K
Goosens, V
Das, A
Graham, A
Ellis, T
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Bacterial cellulose is a strong and flexible biomaterial produced at high yields by Acetobacter species and has applications in health care, biotechnology and electronics. Naturally, bacterial cellulose grows as a large unstructured polymer network around the bacteria that produce it, and tools to enable these bacteria to respond to different locations are required to grow more complex structured materials. Here, we introduce engineered cell‐to‐cell communication into a bacterial cellulose‐producing strain of Komagataeibacter rhaeticus to enable different cells to detect their proximity within growing material and trigger differential gene expression in response. Using synthetic biology tools, we engineer Sender and Receiver strains of K. rhaeticus to produce and respond to the diffusible signalling molecule, acyl‐homoserine lactone. We demonstrate that communication can occur both within and between growing pellicles and use this in a boundary detection experiment, where spliced and joined pellicles sense and reveal their original boundary. This work sets the basis for synthetic cell‐to‐cell communication within bacterial cellulose and is an important step forward for pattern formation within engineered living materials.
Issue Date: 1-Jul-2019
Date of Acceptance: 31-Oct-2018
ISSN: 1751-7915
Publisher: Wiley
Start Page: 611
End Page: 619
Journal / Book Title: Microbial Biotechnology
Volume: 12
Issue: 4
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Funder's Grant Number: EP/M002306/1
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology
0605 Microbiology
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2018-11-01
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering

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