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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genome-wide engineering of an infectious clone of herpes simplex virus type 1 using synthetic genomics assembly methods.

Here, we present a transformational approach to genome engineering of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), which has a large DNA genome, using synthetic genomics tools. We believe this method will enable more rapid and complex modifications of HSV-1 and other large DNA viruses than previous technologies, facilitating many useful applications. Yeast transformation-associated recombination was used to clone 11 fragments comprising the HSV-1 strain KOS 152 kb genome. Using overlapping sequences between the adjacent pieces, we assembled the fragments into a complete virus genome in yeast, transferred it into an Escherichia coli host, and reconstituted infectious virus following transfection into…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

De novo design and synthesis of a 30-cistron translation-factor module.

Two of the many goals of synthetic biology are synthesizing large biochemical systems and simplifying their assembly. While several genes have been assembled together by modular idempotent cloning, it is unclear if such simplified strategies scale to very large constructs for expression and purification of whole pathways. Here we synthesize from oligodeoxyribonucleotides a completely de-novo-designed, 58-kb multigene DNA. This BioBrick plasmid insert encodes 30 of the 31 translation factors of the PURE translation system, each His-tagged and in separate transcription cistrons. Dividing the insert between three high-copy expression plasmids enables the bulk purification of the aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases and translation factors…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Investigation of proposed ladderane biosynthetic genes from anammox bacteria by heterologous expression in E. coli.

Ladderanes are hydrocarbon chains with three or five linearly concatenated cyclobutane rings that are uniquely produced as membrane lipid components by anammox (anaerobic ammonia-oxidizing) bacteria. By virtue of their angle and torsional strain, ladderanes are unusually energetic compounds, and if produced biochemically by engineered microbes, could serve as renewable, high-energy-density jet fuel components. The biochemistry and genetics underlying the ladderane biosynthetic pathway are unknown, however, previous studies have identified a pool of 34 candidate genes from the anammox bacterium, Kuenenia stuttgartiensis, some or all of which may be involved with ladderane fatty acid biosynthesis. The goal of the present study…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Stability of the encoding plasmids and surface expression of CS6 differs in enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) encoding Different heat-stable (ST) enterotoxins (STh and STp).

Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), one of the most common reasons of diarrhea among infants and children in developing countries, causes disease by expression of either or both of the enterotoxins heat-labile (LT) and heat-stable (ST; divided into human-type [STh] and porcine-type [STp] variants), and colonization factors (CFs) among which CS6 is one of the most prevalent ETEC CFs. In this study we show that ETEC isolates expressing CS6+STh have higher copy numbers of the cssABCD operon encoding CS6 than those expressing CS6+STp. Long term cultivation of up to ten over-night passages of ETEC isolates harboring CS6+STh (n = 10) or…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

SAR11 bacteria linked to ocean anoxia and nitrogen loss.

Bacteria of the SAR11 clade constitute up to one half of all microbial cells in the oxygen-rich surface ocean. SAR11 bacteria are also abundant in oxygen minimum zones (OMZs), where oxygen falls below detection and anaerobic microbes have vital roles in converting bioavailable nitrogen to N2 gas. Anaerobic metabolism has not yet been observed in SAR11, and it remains unknown how these bacteria contribute to OMZ biogeochemical cycling. Here, genomic analysis of single cells from the world’s largest OMZ revealed previously uncharacterized SAR11 lineages with adaptations for life without oxygen, including genes for respiratory nitrate reductases (Nar). SAR11 nar genes…

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