Formed by aberrant cell division, minicells possess functional metabolism despite their inability to grow and divide. Minicells exhibit not only superior stability when compared with bacterial cells but also exceptional tolerance—characteristics that are essential for a de novo bioreactor platform. Accordingly, we engineered minicells to accumulate protein, ensuring sufficient production capability. When tested with chemicals regarded as toxic against cells, the engineered minicells produced titers of C6–C10 alcohols and esters, far surpassing the corresponding production from bacterial cells. Additionally, microbial autoinducer production that is limited in expanding bacterial population was conducted in the minicells. Because bacterial population growth was nonexistent, the minicells produced autoinducers in constant amounts, which allowed precise control of the bacterial population having autoinducer-responsive gene circuits. When bacterial population growth was nonexistent, the minicells produced autoinducers in constant amounts, which allowed precise control of the bacterial population having autoinducer-based gene circuits with the minicells. This study demonstrates the potential of minicells as bioreactors suitable for products with known limitations in microbial production, thus providing new possibilities for bioreactor engineering.
- Toxic chemicals
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology