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KatEred
updated by Laura Cinti - 15 Aug 2013


Howard Boland, katEred, 2012
katEred (2012)

One of the reasons for changing the oxidative stress construct, katE, to express red fluorescence was to align the signification of stress with cultural understanding of colours. For instance, when humans are under stress, blood flushes to the face giving it a reddish colour particularly amongst those with paler skin. Also, red can be seen as an alerting colour and has been used as ‘official’ semantics in many apparatuses such as traffic lights, where it is used as opposed to green. While these factors play little biochemical role, they may impact our understandings.

Further, a more visual reason for using RFP is its light pink colour visible in daylight as opposed to GFP that has a less distinct sheen under such light.

Howard Boland, katEred, 2012
katEred (2012)

Similar to the GFP stress-reporting construct, the RFP construct (BBa_J06702) was assembled with katE promoter using idempotent design. This produced a weak fluorescent post-transformation. It was unclear why cells viewed under a microscope produced a more striking fluorescent using RFP than GFP but failed to produce visible RFP in liquid broth culture.

Howard Boland, katEred, 2012
katEred (2012)

Also, colonies showed less striking fluorescence with RFP (appearing pink) as opposed to GFP, however, when growing these over longer periods of time, a substantial pattern began to emerge. Using a swarming plate containing a rich top layer of agar and a bottom layer of hard agar, it was expected that a growing colony would have low expression of RFP, before emerging stronger as the plate dried out. The outcome showed a striking display producing an edge of fluorescence at the migrating front.
 

Acknowledgements:   

The work was conducted in 2011-2012 at the University of Westminster.

The work was featured was exhibited live at Art from Synthetic Biology, UK’s first public exhibition featuring living genetically modified microorganisms at The Royal Institute of Great Britain in April 2013. 

Howard Boland, katEred, 2012
katEred (2012), Art from Synthetic Biology, The Royal Institute of Great Britain, London, UK, April 2013

Sincerest gratitude to Dr Mark Clements.  

The research is supported by a Doctoral Award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and University of Westminster.

Other References: C-LAB:blog: Britt Wray of Fluxmedia visits C-LAB
C-LAB:blog: Cells alive n' counting
C-LAB:blog: Cellulose from bacteria
C-LAB:blog: Going solid: From Fungi to Mushroom
C-LAB:blog: Growing Magnetospirillium Gryphiswaldense
C-LAB:blog: It's here - the Spring 2012 iGEM library
C-LAB:blog: KatE in a Jar
C-LAB:blog: katE sees red with Red Fluorescent Protein (RFP)
C-LAB:blog: Red Fluorescent Protein
C-LAB:blog: Sludge Bacteria - one drop
C-LAB:blog: Stress light in growth & swarming behaviour
C-LAB:event: ART FROM SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
C-LAB:event: ART-SCIENCE TALK
C-LAB:event: BIOART FORUM
C-LAB:event: CAGE RATTLING #1: KILL SWITCH
C-LAB:event: DO IT TOGETHER BIO #5: SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY ART
C-LAB:event: GRADUATE SCHOOL LAUNCH
C-LAB:event: INTO THE LABS
C-LAB:event: RE-NEW DIGITAL ARTS FESTIVAL
C-LAB:event: SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY SOCIETY KICK OFF EVENT
C-LAB:event: THE TWO CULTURES: VISUAL ART AND THE SCIENCES C.1800-2011
C-LAB:event: YOUNG SYNTHETIC BIOLOGISTS - YSB 1.0
C-LAB:experiment: Bacteria Compass
C-LAB:project: Bacterial Light Sensor
C-LAB:project: Bacterial World
C-LAB:project: katE - Visualising Stress
C-LAB:project: KatEred
C-LAB:project: Stress-o-stat
C-LAB:project: Sugar Rush
C-LAB:project: Transient Images
Overview
Year
2012
Status
Completed
Group(s)
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