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The Project

Bacteriophage infection represents a common matter in science and industry. We propose to contend with such infections at a population level by triggering a defense system delivered by an engineered version of the satellite phage P4. This phage will be produced into an E. coli strain which harbors some genes from the helper phage P2 that are used for complementing and completing P4 life cycle, hence creating a production line of our version of P4.

This will enable phage production and subsequent delivery of the defense system into wild-type E. coli and possibly other bacterial host strains.

The defense will consist of DNA and RNA degradation by toxins which will be activated by T3 or T7 RNA-Polymerases and transcribed fast enough to stop phage assembly and scattering in the environment.

Moreover, the system includes the spread of a quorum sensing signal, hence "warning" the population to prepare against further T3 or T7 infection.
Furthermore, we will implement a stochastic multi-scale model. The model will simulate the behaviour at the intracellular scale using stochastic molecular simulations and at the populations scale using a Cellular Automata and a system of ODE's.

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