Synthetic quorum-sensing circuit to control consortial biofilm formation and dispersal in a microfluidic device

Seok Hoon Hong, Manjunath Hegde, Jeongyun Kim, Xiaoxue Wang, Arul Jayaraman, Thomas K. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations

Abstract

To utilize biofilms for chemical transformations in biorefineries they need to be controlled and replaced. Previously, we engineered the global regulator Hha and cyclic diguanylate-binding BdcA to create proteins that enable biofilm dispersal. Here we report a biofilm circuit that utilizes these two dispersal proteins along with a population-driven quorum-sensing switch. With this synthetic circuit, in a novel microfluidic device, we form an initial colonizer biofilm, introduce a second cell type (dispersers) into this existing biofilm, form a robust dual-species biofilm and displace the initial colonizer cells in the biofilm with an extracellular signal from the disperser cells. We also remove the disperser biofilm with a chemically induced switch, and the consortial population could tune. Therefore, for the first time, cells have been engineered that are able to displace an existing biofilm and then be removed on command allowing one to control consortial biofilm formation for various applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number613
JournalNature communications
Volume3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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