PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractBacteria possess natural mechanisms allowing them to adapt to the environment and communicate with each other, processing large amounts of information in parallel. Cyanobacteria survive in a variety of environments and respond to light. Vibrio harveyi, a marine bacteria, and Pseudomonas aureofaciens, a wheat bacteria, communicate using small molecules; V. harveyi bioluminesces in response to an inter-species signaling molecule, while P. aureofaciens produces phenazine in response to its intra-species signaling molecule. These inherent signaling mechanisms can be engineered to create rapid, specific, modular Bacteria-Based Molecular Assay Detection (B-MAD) systems. ABMAD system designed to detect the human pathogen Clostridium perfringens serves as proof of concept for completely biological information processing units. The B-MAD system consists of three engineered cyanobacteria cells used in combination to detect Clostridium perfringens, a causative agent in gas gangrene, food poisoning and antibioticassociated diarrhea. The B-MAD system is activated by blue/UV-A light and responds to AI-2, a small molecule produced by C. perfringens and perfringolysin 0, a C. perfringens pore-forming toxin. It is possible, using the yellow fluorescence and bioluminescence outputs from the B-MAD system, to unambiguously detect C. perfringens. The design of the B-MAD system as well as the fabrication of components for the Blue Light Converter are reported.