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Open AccessArticle

Exploiting the Feedstock Flexibility of the Emergent Synthetic Biology Chassis Vibrio natriegens for Engineered Natural Product Production

1
Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375, USA
2
American Society for Engineering Education, Postdoctoral Research Associate, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375, USA
3
National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, Postdoctoral Research Associate, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(12), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17120679
Received: 4 October 2019 / Revised: 26 November 2019 / Accepted: 28 November 2019 / Published: 30 November 2019
A recent goal of synthetic biology has been to identify new chassis that provide benefits lacking in model organisms. Vibrio natriegens is a marine Gram-negative bacterium which is an emergent synthetic biology chassis with inherent benefits: An extremely fast growth rate, genetic tractability, and the ability to grow on a variety of carbon sources (“feedstock flexibility”). Given these inherent benefits, we sought to determine its potential to heterologously produce natural products, and chose beta-carotene and violacein as test cases. For beta-carotene production, we expressed the beta-carotene biosynthetic pathway from the sister marine bacterium Vibrio campbellii, as well as the mevalonate biosynthetic pathway from the Gram-positive bacterium Lactobacillus acidophilus to improve precursor abundance. Violacein was produced by expressing a biosynthetic gene cluster derived from Chromobacterium violaceum. Not only was V. natriegens able to heterologously produce these compounds in rich media, illustrating its promise as a new chassis for small molecule drug production, but it also did so in minimal media using a variety of feedstocks. The ability for V. natriegens to produce natural products with multiple industrially-relevant feedstocks argues for continued investigations into the production of more complex natural products in this chassis. View Full-Text
Keywords: Vibrio; beta-carotene; violacein; marine bacteria Vibrio; beta-carotene; violacein; marine bacteria
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Ellis, G.A.; Tschirhart, T.; Spangler, J.; Walper, S.A.; Medintz, I.L.; Vora, G.J. Exploiting the Feedstock Flexibility of the Emergent Synthetic Biology Chassis Vibrio natriegens for Engineered Natural Product Production. Mar. Drugs 2019, 17, 679.

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