Team:Utah State



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The future of synthetic biology lies in expanding our ability to engineer genes in new organisms. Our project develops a system to engineer the genome of the photosynthetic cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC6803, establishes expression standards for this species, and adds a set of characterized Synechocystis promoters and ribosome binding sites to the BioBrick toolbox. We developed a BioBrick vector that can be used to assemble parts and devices in E. coli. Upon transformation into Synechocystis, it integrates the device directly into the genome through homologous recombination. We utilized genes that were activated under a variety of conditions, from those responding to heat stress to ones oscillating under a circadian rhythm. The promoters and ribosome binding sites were converted into BioBrick-compatible parts, and subsequently characterized. Our success will enable the use of existing parts in new species, and will expand the range of devices that can be built.