3 years ago

Developing a Genetically Encoded, Cross-Species Biosensor for Detecting Ammonium and Regulating Biosynthesis of Cyanophycin

Developing a Genetically Encoded, Cross-Species Biosensor for Detecting Ammonium and Regulating Biosynthesis of Cyanophycin
Wen Jiang, Yi Xiao, Fuzhong Zhang
Responding to nitrogen status is essential for all living organisms. Bacteria have evolved various complex and exquisite regulatory systems to control nitrogen metabolism. However, natural nitrogen regulatory systems, owing to their complexity, often function only in their original hosts and do not respond properly when transferred to another species. By harnessing the Lactococcus GlnRA system, we developed a genetically encoded, cross-species ammonium biosensor that displays a dynamic range up to 9-fold upon detection of ammonium ion. We demonstrated applications of this ammonium biosensor in three different species (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas putida, and Synechocystis sp.) to detect different nitrogen sources. This ammonium sensor was further used to regulate the biosynthesis of a nitrogen-rich polymer, cyanophycin, based on ammonium concentration. Given the importance of nitrogen responses, the developed biosensor should be broadly applicable to synthetic biology and bioengineering.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acssynbio.7b00069

DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.7b00069

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