Surveillance of microbial small talk using Trojan horses

Målgruppe:Biology, Molecular Biomedicine, Biochemistry

Microbial infections commonly have more than one key player on the board. They behave collectively as multicellular organisms, but in certain situations, species-specific communication is required to outcompete the other players. In order to ensure their survival, they depend on the response to their environment and trigger of virulence factors. The quorum sensing (QS) signals allow these bacteria to synchronously control gene expression of an entire community in response to these changes.

Utilizing novel molecular techniques and synthetic biology, we aim to design ways to exploit these social interactions by turning them into a system capable of sensing and killing the pathogen. We will interplay with QS signalling to induce either a target-specific phage or toxin capable of seek and destroy a specific set of pathogenic bacteria set without disrupting the population.

Students interested in this project will get the chance to learn how to design synthetic constructs based in QS signalling, isolate and engineer phages, build complex circuits with yeast-gap repair, and use CRISPR-Cas systems.

Anvendte metoder:CRISPR-Cas
Keywords:Synthetic biology, Social interactions, Quorum sensing
Vejleder(e): Urvish Trivedi and Rodrigo Chávez