Tuning a high performing multiplexed-CRISPRi Pseudomonas putida strain to further enhance indigoidine production

Jeffrey J. Czajka, Deepanwita Banerjee, Thomas Eng, Javier Menasalvas, Chunsheng Yan, Nathalie Munoz Munoz, Brenton C. Poirier, Young Mo Kim, Scott E. Baker, Yinjie J. Tang, Aindrila Mukhopadhyay

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In this study, a 14-gene edited Pseudomonas putida KT2440 strain for heterologous indigoidine production was examined using three distinct omic datasets. Transcriptomic data indicated that CRISPR/dCpf1-interference (CRISPRi) mediated multiplex repression caused global gene expression changes, implying potential undesirable changes in metabolic flux. 13C-metabolic flux analysis (13C-MFA) revealed that the core P. putida flux network after CRISPRi repression was conserved, with moderate reduction of TCA cycle and pyruvate shunt activity along with glyoxylate shunt activation during glucose catabolism. Metabolomic results identified a change in intracellular TCA metabolites and extracellular metabolite secretion profiles (sugars and succinate overflow) in the engineered strains. These omic analyses guided further strain engineering, with a random mutagenesis screen first identifying an optimal ribosome binding site (RBS) for Cpf1 that enabled stronger product-substrate pairing (1.6–fold increase). Then, deletion strains were constructed with excision of the PHA operon (ΔphaAZC-IID) resulting in a 2.2–fold increase in indigoidine titer over the optimized Cpf1-RBS construct at the end of the growth phase (∼6 h). The maximum indigoidine titer (at 72 h) in the ΔphaAZC-IID strain had a 1.5–fold and 1.8–fold increase compared to the optimized Cpf1-RBS construct and the original strain, respectively. Overall, this study demonstrated that integration of omic data types is essential for understanding responses to complex metabolic engineering designs and directly quantified the effect of such modifications on central metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00206
JournalMetabolic Engineering Communications
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • C-MFA
  • Cpf1/Cas12a
  • Growth coupling
  • Indigoidine
  • Multiplexed CRISPR interference
  • Pseudomonas putida KT2440


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