Genetic engineering of microorganisms

Since he publication of the first bacterial whole genome sequences in the early 2000s, efforts aimed at the development of new therapeutics, biotechnological products and biological models are based on genetic know-how and the use of improved genetic tools.

Our scientist board has built up a wealth of experience in genetic manipulation of Gram-positive, Gram-negative bacteria, yeasts and fungi. Some examples of the genetic tools we use and customize are:

  • Taking up of foreign DNA using plasmids and phages: Introduction of exogenous DNA in certain bacterial species might be a source of concern. We design and construct versatile shuttle vectors that facilitate microbial engineering.
  • Reporter genes based on fluorescence or luminescence: Transcription and translational fusions are very valuable tools for understanding biological processes. We generate microbial strains harbouring reporter fusions whether as extracrhomosomal elements or integrated in their genome.
  • Chromosomal gene inactivation and aminoacidic changes: Depending on the gene(s) and approach of interest, we achieve gene inactivation through the insertion of an antibiotic resistance marker or perform markerless deletions in different bacterial species. If maintaining mRNA is a pre-requisite, STOP codons might be introduced to avoid protein expression. Punctual mutations for changing single aminoacids can also provide relevant information and lead to gain/loss of functions.
  • Random mutagenesis and overexpression systems based on transposition: Early approaches to mutagenesis are based on random methods. We perform the whole process including transposition, bank generation and screening steps.
Genetic engineering