Team:Hong Kong UCCKE

A Synthetic Biology Toolkit - Bacterial-based Detection with Coupled Cell Proliferation Control

Biological detection systems are not often associated with cell proliferation. Here, we propose a novel bacterial-based detection toolkit where the detection of the target substance will restore normal cell proliferation in genetically modified E. Coli with knocked out growth-related genes. When using the toolkit, a recombinant plasmid is first transformed into a wildtype E. Coli to knockout two genes, using the CRISPR-Cas9 system, to reduce its growth. After the knockout, another plasmid containing a modular receptor platform (MRP), genes that restore growth rates, and a multiple cloning site (MCS), are transformed. The MRP with a customizable receptor domain can bind to its operon to activate downstream genes after binding its ligand. Genes used to restore growth and a choice of the user would be expressed. We envision the detection toolkit to have various uses, such as the amplification of signals and the detection of diseases.