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Construction of an inducible amyloid expression circuit in Bacillus megaterium: A case study with CsgA and TasA

By Elin M. Larsson, John B. McManus, Richard M. Murray

Posted 29 Nov 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/858266

Environmental applications of synthetic biology such as water remediation require engineered strains to function robustly in a fluctuating and potentially hostile environment. The construction of synthetic biofilm formation circuits could potentially alleviate this issue by promoting cell survival. Towards this end, we construct a xylose-inducible system for the expression of the functional amyloids CsgA and TasA in the soil bacterium Bacillus megaterium . We find that although both amyloids are expressed, only TasA is successfully exported from the cells. Furthermore, expression of CsgA results in a significant growth penalty for the cells while expression of TasA does not. Finally, we show that TasA expression conveys a small but detectable increase in cells' adhesion to nickel beads. These results suggest that TasA is a promising candidate for future work on synthetic biofilm formation in B. megaterium .

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