This project aims to develop an organic genetically modified machine that have the capacity to function as a biosensor. This biosensor will be useful in biotechnological and research processes. Thanks to Synthetic Biology techniques, it is possible to create a microorganism with the ability to percieve luminescent stimuli in order to visually reproduce them through chromoproteins production. Since it is a modular project, it is very likely to adapt it with the main goal, which is to have the capacity to respond to other stimuli, as pollution agents and other chemicals.
Since the light receptors and the corresponding transcription factors are not a natural part of the Escherichia coli’s genome, it is necessary to synthesize them with constitutive promoters in order to have them all the time included in its normal replication and transcription process. These receptors are specifically blue and red light receptors, and both of them phosphorylate the corresponding transcription factors in darkness or absence of light. As the receptors sense, not the light, but the absence of it, we have design our devices to inhibit the production of the chromoproteins of the respective colors. In a few words, if blue light it is not iluminating the culture, the production of pink proteins starts, and if there isn't red light, the production of yellow proteins starts as well.
The expected results are the following:
After the construction of the plasmids and the proper assembly in lab, it will be necessary to create a light canon. This light canon should be small enough so it can fit properly into an incubator. Also, it should have the feature of a objective turret-like section so it can has the capacity of change de color light that projects over the culture. This with the purpose of confirm that the cells are doing what they are supposed to.
The future of this project is that other iGEM teams, with the use of synthetic biology, could use the present project as a base or guide to make other kinds of receptors, such as pollulants, toxic chemicals, among others. The objective is to have in registration a very functional biosensor capable of sensing different things simultaneously.