Paris Project Description


Under construction

Our project will have 3 main parts:

  • Construction of a synthetic multicellular organism
  • Construction of a security device, enabling the secured isolation of the soma
  • Optimization of triglycerides synthesis in the soma of the synthetic organism

A synthetic multicellular organism

The idea is to make a multicellular organism out of bacteria. This simple organism will have two distinct types of cells. The first one would be the germline, the other one the soma. The germline will be auxotroph for a given nutriment, which will be provided by the soma. The soma will differentiate from the germline and will be unable to divide. In this way, there is a need for a part of the germline to differentiate into soma in order to feed the rest of the germline. Hence, the soma doesn't exist without a germline to generate it. more...

A security device

We also came up with the idea of modifying the synthetic organism so that we would be able to induce the differentiation of all the germline into soma in a secured way. Why would we want to do that ? Well, in a security perspective, we may not want to release a transgenic strain in the environment. But it would be acceptable to do so if we are sure that the cells we release are not able to proliferate. In this view, we could release in the environment, what would correspond to our "soma". Those cells aren't able to divide and their effect is limited in time since they will die after approximatively 2h.

Optimization of triglycerides synthesis in the soma of the synthetic organism

A bacterial multicellular organism could allow optimizing the production of compounds deleterious to the cell. If you try to optimize the production of such a compound in a classic bacteria (E.coli for instance), you will reach a trade off between the production of your compound and the growth of the cell. The synthetic organism could in part bypass this problem. It could indeed be modified so that the soma only will produce the noxious molecule. If their is a way to screen for the production of this molecule, we can then select the germline whose soma would have the best yield. As long as the production doesn't impair to much the capacity of the soma to feed the germline, the optimization can go on. Thus, their is also a trade off in this case, but it might very well be more favorable to the optimization than the trade off between production and growth. At least, this is worth testing.

Of course, all this is only possible if the germline is not affected by the production of the soma. Compounds that could be optimized in this way are thus constrained to molecules that can be noxious in the cell, but that do not affect it to much if in the medium.

Finally, the last part of our project would be to bring together the synthetic organism, the optimization of a compound noxious to the bacteria, and the security device. To do so, we'd like to optimize the production of triglycerides in the soma cells of our synthetic organism. We would then be able to differentiate all the germline of the synthetic organism into soma in a secured way. Those super triglycerides-producing-not-able-to-divide cells could then be ingested. The fatty acids they would stock would be as many fatty acids you will not absorb! Eat fat, don't get fat !