Episode Summary

Adding tags to proteins to increase their degradation can help engineered bacteria grow and survive better under various conditions!

Microbe of the episode:

Lactococcus virus sk1

News Item

Jesse's takeaways

Engineering bacteria with new genetic pathways allows us to use them in many new and promising applications. Some of these are industrial fermentations, growing large quantities of bacteria to use as catalysts for production of chemicals of interest, such as biofuels. But in other cases, engineered microbes can be most useful in less controlled environments, such as the soil. In these situations, the engineering can throw off their natural metabolic balance, making them less tolerant of the stresses of such environments.

In this study, a solution to this issue was tested using protein tags that signal the bacterial enzymes to degrade the engineered proteins. A variety of tags allowed for a variety of rates of degradation, allowing engineers to tune in the ideal rate. Bacteria with these engineered tags grew better in nutrient limited conditions than those without.

Journal Paper

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