Genetic circuits and metabolic pathways can be reengineered to allow organisms to process signals and manufacture useful chemicals. However, their functions currently rely on organism-specific regulatory parts, fragmenting synthetic biology and metabolic engineering into host-specific domains. To unify efforts, here we have engineered a cross-species expression resource that enables circuits and pathways to reuse the same genetic parts, while functioning similarly across diverse organisms. Our engineered system combines mixed feedback control loops and cross-species translation signals to autonomously self-regulate expression of an orthogonal polymerase without host-specific promoters, achieving nontoxic and tuneable gene expression in diverse Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Combining 50 characterized system variants with mechanistic modelling, we show how the cross-species expression resource's dynamics, capacity and toxicity are controlled by the control loops' architecture and feedback strengths. We also demonstrate one application of the resource by reusing the same genetic parts to express a biosynthesis pathway in both model and non-model hosts.
Organism-specific genetic parts are often used to express circuits and pathways, limiting their portability. Here the authors engineer a cross-species expression resource, without using host-specific parts, to control protein and pathway expression in non-model bacteria.