Team:University College London/Module 5/Design


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Module 5: Salt Tolerance

Description | Design | Construction | Characterisation | Modelling | Results | Conclusions


Salt Tolerance

We identified two requirements for the Salt Tolerance Module:

Requirement 1: Cells must be able to endure the high salinity of the ocean. The gene should be compatible withe the cells being utilised for this project.

Our research allowed us to locate IrrE, a gene native to Deinococcus radiodurans. It has been previously transformed into E. coli, and functions as a control gene for various metabolic and signalling pathways. IrrE upregulates the expression of various stress responsive proteins, thereby conferring salt tolerance in E. coli.

Requirement 2: This should allow cells to grow to a final higher OD than they would have without the gene introduced.

Examining the papers regarding the transformation of the IrrE gene into E. coli, we observe that this has been done successfully, allowing the cells to be grown to a higher cell density than the wild type. This would allow our system to be utilised effectively in the marine environment.

Other Information: What interests us about the IrrE gene is that it is a global regulator, conferring resistance to ionising radiation and UV light in Deinococcus radiodurans, and similar abiotic stress in E. coli. As such, IrrE has the prospect to be utilised in various hostile environments beyond the constrains of our project, potentially utilised in multiple scenarios where E. coli would not normally thrive.