Team:Utah State


Revision as of 06:39, 21 October 2009 by Liblint (Talk | contribs)

USU iGem Untitled Document


The Utah State University team is excited to be participating in the 2009 iGEM competition. This is the second year that USU will be represented at the iGEM Jamboree, and since last year our team has gained a broader knowledge of synthetic biology and its far-reaching potential. We invite you to explore our site and learn all about our project! And please contact us if you would like more information about any aspect of our project.

Our project:

The aim of the Utah State University iGEM project is to develop improved production and harvesting methods of proteins and other products in multiple organisms using the standardized BioBrick system. The name of our project, BIoBricks without Borders, characterizes and ties together the two main focuses of our research:

  • Investigating broad host-range vectors for production of compounds in organisms other than E. coli (like Synechocystis PCC6803, Rhodobacter sphaeroides, and Pseduomonas putida)
  • Developing a library of fusion-compatible BioBrick parts for targeting compounds for secretion

More specifically, organisms like Synechocystis PCC6803 could be advantageous for the production of compounds like polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs, biodegradable plastics) due to their ability to photosynthetically assimilate carbon using sunlight, which would minimize the need to add an expensive carbon source. Following production of compounds like PHA, product recovery (called downstream processing) is a difficult and expensive challenge. In the case of PHAs, downstream processing commonly represents more than half of the total production cost. To complete the first goal, we investigated the conversion of several broad host-range vectors into BioBrick-compatible format and tested the functionality of these vectors in multiple organisms. For the second goal, numerous parts and composite devices were made through the genetically fusing signal peptide targeting sequences with protein-coding regions to encourage the release of these proteins out of the cytoplasm. Specifically, green fluorescent protein and phasin, which is a polyhydroxyalkanoate granule-associated protein, were used in this study. Successful completion of these goals would make possible the exploitation of favorable traits of multiple organisms and would simplify recovery of cellular compounds.

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