FURI | Spring 2022

Improving Quorum Sensing by Multi-Level Controller in Cyanobacteria Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002

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The objective of this study was to characterize an array of control mechanisms to strictly regulate inducible gene expression in cyanobacteria. To achieve this regulation, multiple constructs encoding secondary structures were designed and integrated into expression plasmids, preventing the normal processes of central dogma. In conjunction with the primary control found in the inducible promoter esaR, a multi-level controller was assembled and used to suppress the expression of a quantifiable fluorescent protein. Strict control and tunability of gene expression is especially useful in cases where exogenous products negatively inhibit cellular function, or more simply, negative-feedback processes. This control mechanism acts as a tool to the large toolbox of genetic devices being used to tinker cyanobacteria to the status of an industrial host.

Student researcher

Nathan Miller

Nathan N. Miller

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2023