Course 3: Let’s Paint with Bacteria

Proteins are the most powerful and versatile tools in the synthetic biology toolbox. In this lesson, we’ll see what it takes to express a protein in bacteria. As an example, we’ll look at chromoproteins, simple short proteins that function as pigments in a variety of beautiful colors. Bacteria that express a chromoprotein show a visible color change, allowing us to track our synthetic genes with the naked eye and without fancy instruments. We’ll go deeper into how to handle and store transformed bacteria, how to verify the presence of a new gene, and how to model the expression of proteins in bacteria.

Goals for this Course

  • To create simple functional genes for expressing colorful chromoproteins.
  • To identify key DNA sequence elements required for protein expression.
  • To introduce methods for cutting up DNA into well defined pieces.
  • To produce a basic mathematical model for how proteins are expressed.

Course Curriculum