On-chip analysis, indexing and screening for chemical producing bacteria in a microfluidic static droplet array†
Economic production of chemicals from microbes necessitates development of high-producing strains and an efficient screening technology is crucial to maximize the effect of the most popular strain improvement method, the combinatorial approach. However, high-throughput screening has been limited for assessment of diverse intracellular metabolites at the single-cell level. Herein, we established a screening platform that couples a microfluidic static droplet array (SDA) and an artificial riboswitch to analyse intracellular metabolite concentration from single microbial cells. Using this system, we entrapped single Escherichia coli cells in SDA to measure intracellular L-tryptophan concentrations. It was validated that intracellular L-tryptophan concentration can be evaluated by the fluorescence from the riboswitch. Moreover, high-producing strains were successfully screened from a mutagenized library, exhibiting up to 145% productivity compared to its parental strain. This platform will be widely applicable to strain improvement for diverse metabolites by developing new artificial riboswitches.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Lab on a Chip Recent Open Access Articles