IGEM:University of Illinois Urbana Champaign/2009/Notebook/Bioware 2010 Arsenic Bioremediation

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The 2010 Illinois iGEM Bioware team project has two main components: development of bacteria capable of bioremediation and refinement of a bacterial decoder developed by the 2009 Illinois iGEM team.

The bioremediation portion of our project will focus specifically on heavy metals. To achieve our goal of complete removal of harmful heavy metals, we plan to introduce genes into E.coli that will make the bacteria resistant to the metals being removed, and also genes that code for metal binding proteins that will be displayed on the bacteria’s outer membrane. The bacterial decoder portion will be implemented using small RNAs and regulatory proteins to regulate the assembly of protein products unique to a certain set of inputs. This regulation under unique, user specified environmental circumstances is central to making the decoder a novel concept. The system implemented by the decoder will consist of different types of logic gates. These will be submitted to the Registry of Standard Biological Parts to be used by other synthetic biologists.

Our ultimate goal is to incorporate our bioremediation project and our bacterial decoder so that bacteria will be able to isolate specific metals based on their environmental conditions.

This notebook will log the progress of the Arsenic Bioremediation portion of the project as we put together a system responsible for the collection of arsenic on the cell surface.

Here is a PowerPoint with a more detailed explanation of the system!Media:UIUC-IllinoisIGEM_Bioware_Arsenic_System_Overview.pdf‎


*Enhanced arsenic accumulation in engineered bacterial cells expressing ArsR (says to use As (III) to induce ArsR). This source was particularly useful.

Cell Surface Engineering Sources

  • Metalloadsorption by Escherichia coli cells displaying yeast and mammalian metallothioneins anchored to the outer membrane protein LamB
  • Bioaccumulation of heavy metals with protein fusions of metallothionein to bacterial OMPs. REVIEW


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