Abstract (~100) words:
Synechococcus elongatus is a freshwater species of photosynthetic cyanobacteria that naturally accumulate sucrose as an osmoprotectant during salt stress. We aim to engineer a sucrose sink in S. elongatus by expressing a non-native sucrose permease transporter to induce the cyanobacterium to continually generate and export sucrose into the medium. The exported sucrose would sustain E. coli that are engineered to consume the sucrose and use it as a carbon feedstock to produce industrially important metabolites. Thus, we aim to create a sustainable model of chemical synthesis through an artificial consortium of S. elongatus and E. coli that can convert light and atmospheric carbon dioxide into useful compounds, which are otherwise synthesised through carbon-emitting petrochemicals or resource-intensive plant biomass.