Division of labor between cells is ubiquitous in biology but the use of multi-cellular consortia for engineering applications is only beginning to be explored. A significant advantage of multi-cellular circuits is their potential to be modular with respect to composition but this claim has not yet been extensively tested using experiments and quantitative modeling. Here, we construct a library of 24 yeast strains capable of sending, receiving or responding to three molecular signals, characterize them experimentally and build quantitative models of their input-output relationships. We then compose these strains into two- and three-strain cascades as well as a four-strain bistable switch and show that experimentally measured consortia dynamics can be predicted from the models of the constituent parts. To further explore the achievable range of behaviors, we perform a fully automated computational search over all two-, three- and four-strain consortia to identify combinations that realize target behaviors including logic gates, band-pass filters and time pulses. Strain combinations that are predicted to map onto a target behavior are further computationally optimized and then experimentally tested. Experiments closely track computational predictions. The high reliability of these model descriptions further strengthens the feasibility and highlights the potential for distributed computing in synthetic biology.
Figure 1 - Source Data 1, Figure 2 - Source Data 1, Figure 3 - Source Data 1, Figure 4 - Source Data 1, Figure 5 - Source Data 1 contain the numerical data used to generate the figures
- Alberto Carignano
- Georg Seelig
- Eric Klavins
- Alberto Carignano
- Eric Klavins
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Xiaojun Tian
© 2022, Carignano et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The microbial community composition in the human gut has a profound effect on human health. This observation has lead to extensive use of microbiome therapies, including over-the-counter 'probiotic' treatments intended to alter the composition of the microbiome. Despite so much promise and commercial interest, the factors that contribute to the success or failure of microbiome-targeted treatments remain unclear. We investigate the biotic interactions that lead to successful engraftment of a novel bacterial strain introduced to the microbiome as in probiotic treatments. We use pairwise genome-scale metabolic modeling with a generalized resource allocation constraint to build a network of interactions between taxa that appear in an experimental engraftment study. We create induced sub-graphs using the taxa present in individual samples and assess the likelihood of invader engraftment based on network structure. To do so, we use a generalized Lotka-Volterra model, which we show has strong ability to predict if a particular invader or probiotic will successfully engraft into an individual's microbiome. Furthermore, we show that the mechanistic nature of the model is useful for revealing which microbe-microbe interactions potentially drive engraftment.
Angiogenesis is a morphogenic process resulting in the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones, usually in hypoxic micro-environments. The initial steps of angiogenesis depend on robust differentiation of oligopotent endothelial cells into the Tip and Stalk phenotypic cell fates, controlled by NOTCH-dependent cell–cell communication. The dynamics of spatial patterning of this cell fate specification are only partially understood. Here, by combining a controlled experimental angiogenesis model with mathematical and computational analyses, we find that the regular spatial Tip–Stalk cell patterning can undergo an order–disorder transition at a relatively high input level of a pro-angiogenic factor VEGF. The resulting differentiation is robust but temporally unstable for most cells, with only a subset of presumptive Tip cells leading sprout extensions. We further find that sprouts form in a manner maximizing their mutual distance, consistent with a Turing-like model that may depend on local enrichment and depletion of fibronectin. Together, our data suggest that NOTCH signaling mediates a robust way of cell differentiation enabling but not instructing subsequent steps in angiogenic morphogenesis, which may require additional cues and self-organization mechanisms. This analysis can assist in further understanding of cell plasticity underlying angiogenesis and other complex morphogenic processes.