Team:Virginia Commonwealth


Promoter design, characterization and consequences

The generation of well-characterized genetic parts is a prerequisite for the rational design and construction of reliable genetically-encoded devices and systems. However, most publicly available parts (including those in the Registry) remain largely uncharacterized. Therefore, we propose a minimal measurement standard for the quantitative characterization of one of the most frequently used parts, promoters. This approach uses both mRNA and protein measurements to provide a tractable and universal analysis of relevant promoter characteristics. In an effort to elucidate promoter design principles, we have also designed and characterized new promoter and enhancer sequences. Our goal is to contribute to the advancement of fundamental synthetic biology by evaluating the performance of new and existing promoters and enhancers, which may serve as a model for describing other basic parts such as ribosome-binding sites and transcriptional terminators.

Left to right: Kevin Bussing, Dr. Stephen Fong (primary advisor), Clay Crenwelge, Chris Gowen (advisor), George McArthur IV (advisor), Cindy Lovelace (advisor), Adam Bower, Maria McClintock and Afton Trent (not pictured: Craig Alberg)

The VCU iGEM Team thanks Dr. Fong and the Systems Biological Engineering Laboratory for providing research space, materials, intellectual input and guidance through the development and advancement of this project. Special thanks to Dr. John Ryan for teaching and allowing us to use his flow cytometer.