We use synthetic biology to re-design plants with useful traits and understand fundamental question about natural processes. We are expanding plant synthetic biology to broader areas such bioenergy and biological input-output systems. As one example, we provide input with computer designed receptors that activates a plant synthetic signal transduction pathway and a transcriptional response and are using the tools of synthetic biology to further the approach. Because our system is constructed of modular and standardized parts we can re-assemble the system to ask how native molecules work. The synthetic signal transduction system or biological input-output pathway is directed to producing a specific output. The output could accumulation of biofuels, flowering or a visual response. Our system is modular and by making chimeric molecules (e.g., synthetic::natural) we are able dissect fundamental processes normally used by plants. We are developing digital controls (positive feedback loops, toggle switches) to allow precise regulation of our synthetic traits.
Our Plant Sentinel Technology is being developed at Colorado State University in partnership with Phytodetectors Inc.
Please see: www.phytodetectors.com for more information
Our lab will be featured on Making Stuff: Safer with David Pogue.
The episode will air Wednesday, Nov. 6th at 9PM on PBS.
See the preview here!
See more great photos on Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)’s facebook: