DOI: 10.1101/518639Jan 11, 2019Paper

Syntrophic co-culture amplification of production phenotype for high-throughput screening of microbial strain libraries

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Tatyana SaleskiXiaoxia Nina Lin


Microbes can be engineered to synthesize a wide array of bioproducts, yet production phenotype evaluation remains a frequent bottleneck in the design-build-test cycle where strain development requires iterative rounds of library construction and testing. Here, we present Syntrophic Co-culture Amplification of Production phenotype (SnoCAP). Through a metabolic cross-feeding circuit, the production level of a target molecule is translated into highly distinguishable co-culture growth characteristics, which amplifies differences in production into highly distinguishable growth phenotypes. We demonstrate SnoCAP with the screening of Escherichia coli strains for production of two target molecules: 2-ketoisovalerate, a precursor of the drop-in biofuel isobutanol, and L-tryptophan. The dynamic range of the screening can be tuned by employing an inhibitory analog of the target molecule. Screening based on this framework requires compartmentalization of individual producers with the sensor strain. We explore three formats of implementation with increasing throughput capability: confinement in microtiter plates (102-104 assays/experiment), spatial separation on agar plates (104-105 assays/experiment), and encapsulation in microdroplets (...Continue Reading

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