Dr Georg Fritz (SYNMIKRO, University of Marburg, Germany) will be speaking at the WISB Seminar Series on Wednesday 28th February from 12-1pm in the School of Life Sciences.

If you would like to attend, please contact wisb@warwick.ac.uk for location details. An abstract of Georg’s talk is as follows:

The rational design of synthetic circuits is often impeded by cross-reactions between circuit components and physiological processes within the heterologous host. In our work seek to overcome these restrictions by using extracytoplasmic function σ factors (ECFs), which represent ideal orthogonal regulators because of their high promoter specificity. After evaluating several heterologous ECF switches in E. coli and B. subtilis, computational modelling allows us to predict cascades with multiple ECFs. These “autonomous timer circuits” activate a series of target genes with defined time delays, which we find in excellent agreement with experimental data. Our results not only serve as a proof of concept for the application of ECFs as organism-independent building blocks in synthetic biology, but could also be used in biotechnological applications, e.g. to introduce a timing hierarchy in the expression of biosynthetic pathway components.

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