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Wurtzel, E. T., Vickers, C. E., Hanson, A. D., Millar, A. H., Cooper, M., Voss-Fels, K. P., Nikel, P. I., and Erb T. J. (2020) Revolutionizing agriculture with synthetic biology. Nature Plants, 5: 1207-1210. DOI: 10.1038/s41477-019-0539-0

How can SynBio mediate a revolution in plant research – especially for agricultural applications? Our two-cents on the matter in this opinion article where we discuss approaches, currently validated in microorganism, could be potentially transferred into plants.

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Fedeson, D. T., Saake, P., Calero, P., Nikel, P. I., and Ducat, D.C. (2020) Biotransformation of 2,4-dinitrotoluene in a phototrophic co-culture of engineered Synechococcus elongatus and Pseudomonas putida. Microbial Biotechnology, DOI: 10.1111/1751-7915.13544

A synthetic microbial consortium composed by two engineered microorganisms, the photosynthetic cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 and the heterotrophic bacterium Pseudomonas putida EM173, performs degradation of the pollutant 2,4-dinitrotoluene using CO2 and light as the only inputs in the system.

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Wirth, N. T., and Nikel, P. I. (2020) Engineering reduced-genome strains of Pseudomonas putida for product valorization. In Minimal Cells: Design, Construction, Biotechnological Applications. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-31897-0_3

A book chapter describing the state-of-the-art of P. putida genome engineering, focusing on reduced-genome strains with enhanced traits for production, product valorization, and development of cell factories.

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Batianis, C., Kozaeva, E., Damalas, S. G., Martín‐Pascual, M., Volke, D. C., Nikel, P. I., and Martins dos Santos, V. A. P. (2020) An expanded CRISPRi toolbox for tunable control of gene expression in Pseudomonas putida. Microbial Biotechnology, 13: 368-385. DOI: 10.1111/1751-7915.13533

Broadening the SynBio toolbox for P. putida! In this case, we describe a protocol for single-plasmid CRISPR-interference (CRISPRi) for down-regulation of one or multiple gene targets in Pseudomonas developed by Ekaterina.

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Nieto-Domínguez, M. and Nikel, P. I. (2020) Intersecting xenobiology and neometabolism to bring novel chemistries to life. ChemBioChem, 3. DOI: 10.1002/cbic.202000091

Manuel and Pablo explore the possibility of incorporating non-biological elements into the biochemistry of microorganisms and review different examples where this effort has been accomplished. SynBio strategies to create novel (neo) metabolism are discussed with a focus on fluorine incorporation into organic molecules.

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Volke, D. C., Calero, P., and Nikel, P. I. (2020) Pseudomonas putida. Trends in Microbiology, 28, 512-513. DOI: 10.1016/j.tim.2020.02.015

A glimpse on what makes Pseudomonas putida such a special host, including applications and highlighting milestones of the continuously expanding P. putida-related research.

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Volke, D. C., Friis, L., Wirth, N. T., Turlin, J., and Nikel, P. I. (2020) Synthetic control of plasmid replication enables target- and self-curing of vectors and expedites genome engineering of Pseudomonas putida. Metabolic Engineering Communications, 10: e00126. DOI: 10.1016/j.mec.2020.e00126

We describe new methods for curing plasmids in P. putida using vectors that can target themselves via the expression of an endonuclease to speed up engineering efforts in Pseudomonas. Most plasmids can be cured from >95% of the whole bacterial population after an overnight cultivation!

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