Environmental bacteria are usually equipped with native surface-attachment elements that can hinder the engineering of biofilms. In this work, the genome of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 was engineered to strip the cells of most of their outer-facing structures, involved in motion, binding to surfaces and biofilm formation. In particular, 23 segments were deleted, resulting in a ‘naked’ strain that is known as EM371. As expected, the physical properties of this strain (inability to form biofilms, swimming deficiency, etc.) were very different than those of the wild type strain. And, what can these mutant strains be used for? For example, it can be used as a platform to carry non-native interacting elements, or for rational engineering of catalytic communities.
Read more in the Open Access article available online here.