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Biogenic Control of Manganese Doping in Zinc Sulfide Nanomaterial Using Shewanella oneidensis MR-1

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Journal Article - Open Access

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University of Southern California Los Angeles United States

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Bacteria naturally alter the redox state of many compounds and perform atom-by-atom nanomaterial synthesis to create many inorganic materials. Recent advancements in synthetic biology have spurred interest in using biological systems to manufacture nanomaterials, implementing biological strategies to specify the nanomaterial characteristics such as size, shape, and optical properties. Here, we combine the natural synthetic capabilities of microbes with engineered genetic control circuits toward biogenically synthesized semiconductor nanomaterials. Using an engineered strain of Shewanella oneindensis with inducible expression of the cytochrome complex MtrCAB, we control the reduction of manganese IV oxide. Cytochrome expression levels were regulated using an inducer molecule, which enabled precise modulation of dopant incorporation into manganese doped zinc sulfide nanoparticles MnZnS. Thereby, a synthetic gene circuit controlled the optical properties of biogenic quantum dots. These biogenically assembled nanomaterials have similar physical and optoelectronic properties to chemically synthesized particles. Our results demonstrate the promise of implementing synthetic gene circuits for tunable control of nanomaterials made by biological systems.

Subject Categories:

  • Microbiology
  • Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology
  • Miscellaneous Materials

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