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Title: Regulating exopolysaccharide gene wcaF allows control of Escherichia coli biofilm formation
Authors: Zhang J.
Poh C.L. 
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Citation: Zhang J., Poh C.L. (2018). Regulating exopolysaccharide gene wcaF allows control of Escherichia coli biofilm formation. Scientific Reports 8 (1) : 13127. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: While biofilms are known to cause problems in many areas of human health and the industry, biofilms are important in a number of engineering applications including wastewater management, bioremediation, and bioproduction of valuable chemicals. However, excessive biofilm growth remains a key challenge in the use of biofilms in these applications. As certain amount of biofilm growth is required for efficient use of biofilms, the ability to control and maintain biofilms at desired thickness is vital. To this end, we developed synthetic gene circuits to control E. coli MG1655 biofilm formation by using CRISPRi/dCas9 to regulate a gene (wcaF) involved in the synthesis of colanic acid (CA), a key polysaccharide in E. coli biofilm extracellular polymeric substance (EPS). We showed that the biofilm formation was inhibited when wcaF was repressed and the biofilms could be maintained at a different thickness over a period of time. We also demonstrated that it is also possible to control the biofilm thickness spatially by inhibiting wcaF gene using a genetic light switch. The results demonstrate that the approach has great potential as a new means to control and maintain biofilm thickness in biofilm related applications. © 2018, The Author(s).
Source Title: Scientific Reports
ISSN: 20452322
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-31161-7
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