Team:Georgia State/Project


Revision as of 22:33, 6 September 2010 by Djsexton5 (Talk | contribs)

Over the past month, the team has worked diligently in preparing P. pastoris and Cyanobacteria competency, transforming DNA BioBrick parts, and optimizing growth conditions for future transformations. In addition, the group convened for the first annual GSU iGEM Boot Camp to work on team building, understanding the basic concepts, and organizing public relations.

Pichia Pastoris as a host organism for iGEM

Pichia pastoris.jpg
Pichia pastoris is a methylotrophic yeast used as an alternative host for protein production in addition to Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. There are several reasons why P. Pastoris is an ideal host organism. Its ability to perform eukaryotic post-translational modifications, high yields of recombinant protein, and its genetic similarity to Saccharomyces cerevisiae are very attractive traits(Cereghino and Cregg, 2000). Because of these reasons, P.pastoris has quickly gained popularity for recombinant protein production. The Georgia State 2010 team believes P. pastoris would be an excellent chassis for the iGEM competition. Our goal is to provide a tool box of parts necessary for the genetic manipulation of this organism. Parts will include a plasmid backbone, several parts providing alternative selectivity options and promoter systems. In addition, our tool box will be used to produce a flu virus antigen in P. pastoris as an example of how this system could be used for vaccine production. We hope our contributions will enable future users to maximize the use and further explore the incredible potential P. pastoris has to offer!

Degradation of Toluene using Genetically Engineered Cyanobacteria

The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico presents significant pressure to develop new bioremediation technologies. Contamination of sensitive environments can often have devastating ecological and economical repercussions. Monoaromatic compounds such as Benzene, Toluene, Ethyl benzene, and Xylene (BTEX), are particularly toxic and present in industrial products like crude oil and paint thinners. Although there are microorganisms capable of degrading BTEX, they are not always optimal for bioremediation in certain environments. It would be ideal to transform these enzymatic functions into organisms better suited for such conditions.

We propose to utilize Cyanobacteria as a model organism to host a toluene degradation plasmid and contribute to the bioremediation of marine oil spills. High cell densities of Cyanobacteria are found in many of the world’s oceans, and their unique oxygenic ability is useful in the hypoxic environment of an oil spill. The plasmid will be constructed primarily from parts built from the Pseudomonas putida TOL plasmid. Engineered Cyanobacteria could serve as an effective and environmentally-conscious treatment for oil spill contamination.