Biological Sciences

Events and seminars

SynthSys Seminar Series - 'Reprogramming plants: Building gene circuits to alter plant function'

Dr James P B Lloyd, (University of Western Australia’s School of Molecular Sciences and ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology)

22nd September 2022 at 9:30am [Download iCalendar / .ics file]

Online, Zoom

Plant biotechnology predominantly relies on a restricted set of genetic parts with limited capability to customize spatiotemporal and conditional expression patterns. Synthetic gene circuits have the potential to integrate multiple customizable input signals through a processing unit constructed from biological parts to produce a predictable and programmable output. Here I present a set of functional recombinase-based gene circuits for use in plants. We developed a range of operational logic gates using the identify function (activation) and negation function (repression) in Arabidopsis protoplasts and in vivo, demonstrating their utility for programmable manipulation of transcriptional activity in a complex multicellular organism. Specifically, using recombinases and plant control elements, we activated transgenes in YES, OR and AND gates and repressed them in NOT, NOR and NAND gates; we also implemented the A NIMPLY B gate that combines activation and repression. This highly compact programmable gene circuit platform provides new capabilities for engineering sophisticated transcriptional programs and previously unrealized traits into plants.

Host Justin Goodrich

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